Biden Says US Will Have 600 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses By August
President Joe Biden has set an optimistic timetable for the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, confirming the country will now have 600 million doses by August.
Speaking to the National Institutes of Health on Thursday, February 11, Biden announced that his administration had secured contracts for the delivery of 200 million more doses, taking the country’s overall supply to the 600 million needed to fully vaccinate every American.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are expected to fulfil their respective orders of 300 million doses by the end of July.
The US has experienced significant delays and claims of a botched roll out strategy since the two vaccines were first approved for emergency use two months ago, with The New York Times reporting that only around 10% of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose. In his speech, Biden openly criticised the previous administration’s failure to come up with a plan for mass vaccinations, pinning the blame squarely on President Trump for what he called the ‘gigantic’ logistical challenges facing the current White House team.
While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor — I’ll be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans.
He didn’t order enough vaccines. He didn’t mobilise enough people to administer the shots. He didn’t set up federal vaccine centres where eligible people could go and get their shots. When I became president three weeks ago, America had no plan to vaccinate most of the country. It was a big mess.
Although vaccinations are currently limited to eligible Americans in priority health categories, the news has raised hopes that jabs will be made available to all citizens in the coming months. Biden’s announcement follows Dr Anthony Fauci’s claim earlier this week, saying April would mark the start of ‘open season’ for vaccinations, with the country’s top infectious diseases expert saying by that point ‘virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated’.
President Biden is currently on track to meet his target of vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days in office, but Fauci has warned that it will require a major effort to ramp up actual distribution needed ‘to get vaccines into people’s arms’. On Friday, February 12, the government announced it was sending 1,000 active duty troops to act as emergency vaccinators, while Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to spend $1 billion on setting up 1,000 vaccine sites across the country in the coming weeks and months.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read