Biden to announce Covid vaccine target as coronavirus pandemic continues

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Biden to announce Covid vaccine target as coronavirus pandemic continues


U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks about his plan to deliver coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines to the American population during a press conference at Biden’s transitional headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, Jan. 15 2021.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Joe Biden plans to announce a new target of 200 million Covid vaccines administered in the first 100 days of his tenure on Thursday, a White House official told NBC News.
As of Friday, the United States had carried out 100 million vaccinations against the coronavirus. That goal – which was Biden’s original goal – was achieved on his 59th day in office.

Biden is expected to discuss the new goal Thursday afternoon at his first press conference as president.

After a slower-than-expected deployment under former President Donald Trump, the pace of vaccinations in the United States has increased rapidly and averaged around 2.5 million doses per day last week.

If that vaccination rate is maintained, the target of 200 million doses would be reached in about five weeks, or around April 23 – a full week before Biden scores 100 days in the White House.

The federal government has reached an agreement with Johnson & Johnson for the delivery of 200 million doses. The first half of this order is expected at the end of June. Merck helps make J & J’s vaccine, which is a single dose vaccination.

The administration also has agreements with drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna for a total of 600 million doses.

This is enough to inoculate 300 million Americans, as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two injections given three to four weeks apart.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last month approved the deployment of more than 1,000 active-duty soldiers to help deliver Covid-19 vaccines across the United States in a bid to speed up the pace of vaccinations.

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