US will reach 100 millionth shot goal Friday, President Biden says

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will reach his goal of injecting 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days on Friday, day 58 of his presidency.

“These milestones are significant accomplishments, but we have much more to do,” Biden said. “And the American Rescue Plan will help us do it.” 

Biden’s 100 million dose goal was met with some skepticism when it was first announced on Dec. 8, days before the U.S. had even one authorized vaccine for COVID-19, let alone the three that have now received emergency use authorization. Still, it was generally seen within reach, if optimistic.

Biden said the 100 million does are “just the floor.” The president said his administration will not stop until they beat the pandemic.

Biden said he will announce a new inoculation goal next week.

By the time Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, the U.S. had already administered 20 million shots at a rate of about 1 million doses per day, sparking complaints at the time that Biden’s goal was not ambitious enough. Biden quickly revised it upward to 150 million doses in his first 100 days.

Now the U.S. is injecting an average of about 2.2 million doses each day — and the pace of vaccination is likely to dramatically expand later this month in conjunction with an expected surge in supply of the vaccines.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93 million more doses have been reported to the agency since Biden’s inauguration, but those reports lag the actual date of administration.

Vaccination trend lines pointed to the U.S. breaking the 100 million shots mark on Thursday, with the numbers likely to be confirmed by the CDC over the weekend.

The president’s remarks come amid news that the U.S. is planning to send a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada. A White House official confirmed Thursday that the Biden administration is planning to send 2.5 million doses to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada as a “loan.”

The White House has said President Joe Biden’s priority is the vaccination of all Americans, but the official said Biden was authorizing the loan because the “virus knows no borders.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been authorized for use in the U.S. but has been by the World Health Organization. Tens of millions of doses have been stockpiled in the U.S., should they receive emergency use authorization, and that has sparked an international outcry that lifesaving vaccine is being withheld when it could be used elsewhere.

The deal to share the vaccine, which is still being finalized, does not affect Biden’s plans to have vaccine available for all adults in the United States by the end of May, the official said. 

Earlier this month, the president shared his intention to get the U.S. “closer to normal” by July 4. Part of that included launching a website to help match Americans with available vaccine doses in their area, as well as the public continuing to follow safety guidelines.

“I need you. I need every American to do their part,” Biden said.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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