U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Thursday a new goal of administering 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Americans in his first 100 days in office.
Biden made the announcement at his first press conference since taking office. Biden had initially set the plan of having 100 million shots in the arms of Americans by his 100th day in office, but is now increasing the objective to 200 million. “I know it is ambitious — twice our original goal,” Biden said. “I believe we can do it.”
As of Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a total of about 133 million COVID-19 vaccine shots had been administered, while more than 173 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed across the country.
There are over 47 million Americans fully vaccinated, which is about 14.3 percent of the whole population, CDC data show. Among the fully vaccinated, about 24.5 million people are 65 years or older of age. The country is administering an average of about 2 million COVID-19 shots a day. The United States has been ramping up vaccine rollout since last December.
There are three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use in the country. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the one developed by American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, and another by American drugmaker Moderna, in December last year. Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use on Feb. 27. It is the first single-dose vaccine authorized in the United States.
Biden said earlier this month the United States would have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May, which would dramatically accelerate his timeline previously set for the end of July. Biden said he would direct all states, tribes, and territories to make all adult Americans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by May 1.