News, Culture & Society

Covid: US is on track to hit Joe Biden’s goal of 100m vaccines by Friday

President Joe Biden took a victory lap on Thursday, announcing that his administration would meet its goal of having 100 million shots in arms in his first 100 days in office nearly six weeks early.

‘Tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans,’ he said during a speech at the White House.

‘That’s weeks ahead of schedule. And even with the setbacks we faced during the winter storms,’ he said.

Biden was panned for announcing a vaccination goal in January that sounded ambitious, but which the country was already on track to reach when former President Trump left office. 

He’ll set a new goal next week.

‘Next week I will announce our next goal to put shots in arms,’ he said. 

He also warned Americans it was not a time to relax mask wearing and social distancing.

‘This is a time for optimism, but it’s not a time for relaxation,’ he said. ‘I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands. Stay socially distance. Keep masking up.’

He also asked all Americans to get vaccinated when they are able, noting it was the best way to fight variants of the coronavirus.

‘Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants,’ he said. ‘We’re gonna beat this. We’re way ahead of schedule. We got a long way to go.’

To-date, the U.S. has given 113 million doses of vaccine. That means that nearly 95.8 million doses have been administered since Inauguration Day. 

An average of 2.5 million shots are being given a day, including 2.3 million Wednesday. 

That’s an increase from the 1.4 million vaccines given on the day Biden took office, but vaccinating at the rate achieved under the Trump administration would have easily gotten the U.S. to 97 million shots given within the 100 days. 

At the current rate, the vaccination drive will handily meet Biden’s low initial target by the end of Friday, and could even do so Thursday – more than a month early. 

President Joe Biden said that his administration would meet its goal of having 100 million shots in arms in his first 100 days in office nearly six weeks early

With 2.5 million shots going into arms on an average day in the U.S., President Biden is on track to hit his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days by Friday - more than 40 days early

With 2.5 million shots going into arms on an average day in the U.S., President Biden is on track to hit his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days by Friday – more than 40 days early 

Given the pace, Biden could now be on track to hit 200 million shots by 100 days. The U.S. is averaging 2.5 million shots a day, a clip has more than doubled since the 900,000 a day when Biden took office.

Some critics said Biden’s original target of 100 million was too low. But the administration argues there was still a lot of uncertainty about the vaccine delivery system when the promise was made.

The president announced last week that he will instruct all states to make all adults 18 and up eligible by May 1. 

Already, two states – Alaska and Mississippi – have broadened access to anyone 16 or older (though only Pfizer’s shot is approved for those between 16 and 18). 

Several others will expand eligibility to all adults imminently. They include:  

  • Utah – April 1  
  • Connecticut – April 5
  • Michigan – April 5 
  • Colorado – sometime in April 
  •  Florida – sometime in April 
  • Minnesota – sometimes in April 

Already, about half of U.S. states are offering vaccines to anyone who is over the age of 16 and has an underlying conditions or comorbidities – such as obesity, asthma, diabetes or heart disease – that puts them at higher risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19. 

According to CNN, States that are allowing these groups to get vaccinated include: 

California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington D.C. 

'Tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans. That's weeks ahead of schedule. And even with the setbacks we faced during the winter storms,' President Biden said

‘Tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans. That’s weeks ahead of schedule. And even with the setbacks we faced during the winter storms,’ President Biden said 

An average of 2.5 million shots are being given a day, including 2.3 million Wednesday. That's an increase from the 1.4 million vaccines given on the day Biden took office, but vaccinating at the rate achieved under the Trump administration would have easily gotten the U.S. to 97 million shots given within the 100 days

An average of 2.5 million shots are being given a day, including 2.3 million Wednesday. That’s an increase from the 1.4 million vaccines given on the day Biden took office, but vaccinating at the rate achieved under the Trump administration would have easily gotten the U.S. to 97 million shots given within the 100 days 

President Joe Biden takes off his faces mask to speak about COVID-19 vaccinations, in the East Room of the White House

President Joe Biden takes off his faces mask to speak about COVID-19 vaccinations, in the East Room of the White House

In the rest of the country, people over 65, health care workers and long-term care facility residents can get vaccinated. 

Even with limited eligibility in much of the country, more than 22 percent of Americans have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

And 12 percent of people in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated. 

Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance issued last week, these people can now spend time with others who are fully vaccinated indoors, and see unvaccinated, low-risk people from one other household. 

The pace of vaccinations has picked up considerably, but the U.S. rollout still lags behind those of other countries. 

Seychelles, Maldives and Israel have all given at least one dose to more than half their populations. 

The UK has given one dose to more than a third of its residents, but only 2.6 percent are fully vaccinated. 

This may be a result of the country’s ‘delayed dosing’ practice, which allows Britons to wait up to 12 weeks between their first and second shots, in an effort to get at least some protection to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

UK officials had planned to open vaccine eligibility to people under 50 who have no comorbidities, but now it is facing a major shortage of doses that’s delayed that plan. 

Cut to supply is expected to last about four weeks and is due to delays on millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine which were due to ship to the UK from India. 

And it could leave Britons waiting even longer for their second dose and stall the nation’s progress toward herd immunity. 

Despite its sluggish start, the U.S. is now on track to reach herd immunity – meaning 75 percent of the population will be protected with two doses of vaccine – within five months. 

New hurdles may lie ahead, however. 

Public health experts have warned that the pace of vaccinations could plateau next not due to supply issues, but because there may be a faction of vaccine hesitant Americans among younger age groups. 

Already, this is becoming evident in the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. 

The Native American tribe raced ahead with highly successful community vaccination programs and enthusiastic elders. 

But now, things have slowed and the Nation is struggling to find recipients for its doses, according to the New York Times.    

Nonetheless, vaccine shipments keep growing in the U.S. 

The federal government shipped nearly 16.2 million doses of vaccines this week, according to tracking from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  

Allocations for the week of March 15 did not include doses from Johnson & Johnson, which shipped its full stockpile of about four million doses of the one-shot vaccine immediately following authorization on February 27. 

Deliveries from J&J are expected to be ‘uneven’ for the rest of March. 

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told governors on a Tuesday call that most of this week’s supply will be from Moderna and Pfizer, although some J&J shots will begin to go out again. 

Still, he said that next week, the allotments will increase even further, to 22 million doses sent to all states and territories. 

The U.S. supply could increase even further next month, if the FDA authorizes AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine, although the shot is currently mired in controversy in Europe amid concerns it may cause blood clots and the aforementioned shortages in the UK. 

However, the U.S. has a stockpile of 100 million doses it already purchased from the firm, which are sitting in storage. 

The Biden administration is now under pressure from poorer countries that have approved the AstraZeneca vaccine already, but have limited supply. 

It’s for this reason that Mexico has requested that the U.S. share its surplus. 

A response from the Biden administration is expected by Friday. 

HOW DO THE THREE COVID-19 VACCINES AUTHORIZED IN THE US COMPARE?

PFIZER

WHEN WAS IT APPROVED? December 11, 2020 

WHO CAN GET IT? Anyone 16 or older

DOSAGE: 2 doses, given 21 days apart 

HOW DOES IT WORK? Uses messenger RNA to deliver a tiny bit of genetic code from the virus to ‘teach’ the body to make a protein that provoke antibody production  

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT… 

AFTER 2 DOSES: 95% effective at preventing illness; 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 death; 87% effective at preventing hospitalization

AFTER FIRST DOSE: (not recommended) ~46% effective at preventing infection seven to 20 days later; 57% effective against against symptomatic illness; 72% effective at preventing death; 74% effective against hospitalization; 62% effective against severe illness (based on real-world data from Israel) 

AGAINST VARIANTS FROM…  

UK – B117: No significant impact 

South Africa – B135110% less effective; still protective 

Brazil  – P1: 10.4-fold weaker antibodies; still protective 

MODERNA 

WHEN WAS IT APPROVED? December 18, 2020 

WHO CAN GET IT? Anyone 18 or older

DOSAGE: 2 doses, given 28 days apart 

HOW DOES IT WORK? Uses messenger RNA to deliver a tiny bit of genetic code from the virus to ‘teach’ the body to make a protein that provoke antibody production  

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT… 

AFTER 2 DOSES: 94% effective at preventing illness; 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 death; 89% effective at preventing hospitalization

AFTER FIRST DOSE: (not recommended) ~80% effective, based on trial data 

AGAINST VARIANTS FROM…  

UK – B117: No significant impact 

South Africa – B1351: 10% less effective; still protective 

Brazil  – P1: More data needed 

JOHNSON & JOHNSON 

WHEN WAS IT APPROVED? February 27, 2021

WHO CAN GET IT? Anyone 18 or older

DOSAGE: 1 dose

HOW DOES IT WORK? Uses a harmless, inactivated cold virus to carry piece of spike protein into body to teach it to fight SARS-CoV-2 

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT… 

AFTER SINGLE DOSE: 72% worldwide; 86% in the US  

AGAINST VARIANTS FROM…  

UK – B117: No significant impact 

South Africa – B1351: 64% effective

Brazil  – P1: 85% effective 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk