President Joe Biden has said his administration might double its previous goal of administering 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses within his first 100 days of office, based on the current pace the country was seeing.
“We hope we can keep the pace, about 2.5 million a day, which would mean that you may be able to get to – may be able to double it,” Mr Biden said on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. “But we’ve met the goal and we’re continuing to move forward.”
The United States was currently averaging about 2.5 million vaccine doses administered per day. With that pace, it puts Mr Biden on track to administer more than 200 million doses by his 100th day of office, which will happen on 30 April.
This news comes after the Biden administration hit the goal of 100 million shots administered within 100 days weeks ahead of schedule.
“I’m proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans,” Mr Biden said on Thursday afternoon.
As of Friday morning, the United States has administered more than 118 million Covid-19 vaccine doses since December. In total, about 12.6 per cent of the American public was fully vaccinated for Covid-19, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When Mr Biden took office eight weeks ago, just 8 per cent of those 65 years or older, those most vulnerable to Covid-19, had received a vaccine, the president said. But now 65 per cent of people aged 65 and older have received at least one dose.
“This is a time for optimism but it’s not a time for relaxation,” Mr Biden said. “I need all Americans, I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
Ramping up manufacturing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, as well as providing states with more vaccination sites and vaccinators, has contributed to the country being able to increase vaccines administered per day.
Jeffrey Zients, Mr Biden’s coronavirus czar, revealed on Friday during a White House Covid response team briefing that the federal government sent states 22 million vaccine doses this week.