Biden promises vaccines ‘by the end of July’
During a town-hall style meeting on Tuesday night hosted by CNN, President Biden said that every American who wanted a Covid vaccination would be able to get one “by the end of July this year.”
Mr. Biden qualified the remark slightly, saying that doses would “be available” by then, but he added that it shouldn’t take months to get the shots into people’s arms. He also said that the nation would be “significantly better off” by the start of the next school year in the fall, and “in a very different circumstance” by Christmas.
As far as vaccine doses go, Mr. Biden’s timeline appears solid. His administration said last week that it had secured an additional 200 million doses, and that the country now had enough to cover the country’s 260 million adults — and then some — by the end of summer.
With Moderna and Pfizer continuing to ramp up production, and the likelihood that Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine could be approved for emergency use in the U.S. in early March, the next big challenge will be logistics.
There, too, are some signs for optimism.
The White House announced on Tuesday that the federal government would soon deliver a total of 13.5 million doses per week to the states, a jump of more than two million doses. It also said it double the number going out to pharmacies around the country, delivering two million rather than one million a week. The boosts in supply come after the Biden administration had been working with Pfizer to get the company more manufacturing supplies, including pumps and filtration units, through the Defense Production Act.
The U.S. has also increased the pace of vaccination, from just below 1 million per day when President Biden took office, to an average of about 1.7 million today. And now it looks as though President Biden’s early goal of 100 million shots in 100 days is too low of a bar, as the nation appears likely to get there with more than a month to spare. About 36.6 million doses have been given in the first four weeks of Mr. Biden’s presidency, bringing the total doses administered to about 56.3 million.