Biden Says U.S. About To Reach His 100 Million Shot Goal 40 Days Early
The president vowed to get 100 million vaccine shots into arms during his first 100 days in office – will satisfy that target more than 40 days early
After a year of life put on pause due to the pandemic, perhaps there’s light at the end of the tunnel. President Joe Biden will achieve his goal of seeing the U.S. give 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during his first 100 days in office on March 19, which is his 58th day in office – more than 40 days early.
“We’re going to beat this, we’re way ahead of schedule, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Biden said in a speech on Thursday.
The president first unveiled his plan to dispense 100 million doses in 100 days in December, before arriving in office, and it was considered by most to be a tight, but feasible goal. Yet, according to People, when Biden was sworn in, his administration learned the Trump administration did not have the promised supply of vaccines, complicating that objective. But after buying more doses of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, along with a supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, vaccinations picked up, and roughly 2.5 million dosages are now being administered each day.
Former President Obama urged his Twitter followers to get vaccinated.
People reports that in total, 115,730,008 doses of the vaccine have been administered since the Pfizer vaccine was first approved for emergency use in December. About one in four Americans, or 75,495,716, have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one in ten, 40,981,464, are now fully vaccinated.
Biden said that he would disclose a new target for vaccinations next week and encouraged anybody who is still reluctant to receive the shot (or in some cases, shots).
“We need millions more to get vaccinated,” he said, echoing scientist reports that wider participation is needed to end the pandemic.
Recent polls have suggested that while more Americans say they will get vaccinated when eligible, a PBS poll released showed that 49% of Republican men say they have no plans to get the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said he was “very surprised” by the poll, and publicly asked former president Donald Trump to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated, which Trump did.
Though vaccinations have picked up considerably, the rollout varies state by state. In some locations, only those over age 65 or with preexisting conditions are currently qualified to receive the vaccine, while Alaska and Mississippi are now allowing everyone 16 and up to get vaccinated. Biden announced in a statement last week that he wants states to open up vaccine eligibility nationwide to all adults by May 1.
Biden stressed on Thursday that vaccines will assist in ending the pandemic, acknowledging that some states are undergoing a rise in COVID-19 cases as newer mutations spread through the nation.
“Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants,” he explained.
This has been a busy week for the Biden administration, with the 100 million vaccine marker, as well as the passing of the COVID stimulus relief package by Congress.