By: Enzo Whetton
President Joe Biden and the CDC are looking to lessen restrictions due to COVID-19, and this is possible due to the President fulfilling his promise to roll out 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days. On his 58th day in office, President Biden announced that this goal had been reached. The Biden administration is not sitting back, however; they are continuing to push ahead as there is still a long way to go before enough Americans are vaccinated so that everyone is safe from the virus.
Just a couple of months ago, then President-Elect Biden laid out his plan to give out 100 million vaccinations in 100 days. This, at the time, seemed to be a reasonable target, but thankfully federal and state officials have been able to work together to achieve their goal. This was a key point made by Biden in January, days before his inauguration. Biden wanted to make sure no state was lackadaisical in their vaccine rollout plan. He also stressed vaccinating health care workers and people over 65, two groups who have been the main recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine.
President Biden was able to do this for a few reasons. First, vaccine production has grown and been streamlined, and new vaccines have been approved, like one from Johnson and Johnson. Second, Biden invoked the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, helping companies like Pfizer obtain more machinery needed to produce more vaccines. During his time in office Biden has also seen a record number of shots given in one day, nearly 3 million. This consistently high amount of vaccinations has been key in the Biden administration’s ability to meet their goal.
Looking ahead, the Biden team shows no signs of slowing down. They are looking to vaccinate every American adult by late May, a timeline thought to be improbable at best earlier this year. This is due in part to companies like Moderna and Pfizer being able to increase production as they have gained a lot of experience over the past few months and have now streamlined their vaccination production. The most important factor in reaching this new goal is that Pfizer is now able to produce 200 million vaccinations 2 months earlier than expected.
Joe Biden and his team set out with a goal that was prudent earlier this year. This goal has now been reached and the team looks forward to a more ambitious goal, vaccinating the adult population by the summer.