President Joe Biden is set to meet his goal of administering 100 million injections of the Covid-19 vaccine in his first 100 days in office as early as Thursday, reaching the milestone more than a month in advance.
As of Wednesday, his 57th day in office, the United States had vaccinated nearly 98 million people since Biden’s inauguration. The rate of gunfire has increased to an average of nearly 2.5 million a day over the past week.
That leaves Biden within reach of his goal on Thursday, the 58th day of his presidency, and ready to hit it no later than Friday, barring a major slowdown. He is scheduled to speak publicly Thursday afternoon about the status of vaccines.
With the pace continuing to pick up, Biden is on track to double his goal and see 200 million shots in his 100th day as president, though delivery or firing mishaps could affect that.
While some Republicans have disparaged Biden’s initial target as a low-ball target, he first made the promise of 100 million shots in 100 days in December, when there was substantial uncertainty about vaccine approvals, production capacity, and approvals. US deliveries
He presented the goal as a realistic goal, although it was less ambitious than the Trump administration’s baseline predictions. The vaccination campaign began during the Trump administration, and officials said in December that they thought 200 million doses could be administered by the end of February.
But the inoculation effort started slowly, and only 75 million injections had been given as of early March.
More than 400 million shots fired: COVID-19-19 Tracker
The achievement marks a significant political victory for Biden, who has made fighting the pandemic a cornerstone of his first presidency. And it comes after another victory: the approval of its $ 1.9 trillion pandemic aid package, which the administration is promoting in a series of trips to electoral battle states this week.
Biden has started linking the two and promised to cross the 100 million shot milestone and deliver 100 million checks to people within the next week.
The rate of vaccinations has increased to 2.5 million a day from 900,000 when he took office. Biden has used the growing numbers both to boost shipments to states and to open and expand other injection channels, including at pharmacies and community health centers.
The president is confident that the pace of vaccines will accelerate even more. He called on states to make all adults eligible for vaccines starting May 1, regardless of age, health conditions or occupations, and has said the United States will have enough doses for everyone by the end of May.
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Administering the injections will take longer. Biden told ABC News this week that not all adults will have been vaccinated by July 4, another aspiring deadline when he said Americans should be able to gather for small parties to celebrate Independence Day if all it is going well.
The vaccination campaign continues to face a problem: reluctance to get vaccinated. Polls suggest that Republican men are less likely to get vaccinated. High-profile conservatives, including Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, have raised questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
Large clinical studies have found that all vaccines approved in the US are highly effective in preventing severe cases of Covid-19 and virtually eliminating hospitalization and death from the disease. Side effects from injections are fairly common but almost completely mild, such as pain and rashes at the injection site or temporary headaches and other flu-like symptoms.
Former President Donald Trump urged Americans to get vaccinated in a Fox News interview on Tuesday, saying the vaccines his administration helped develop are “safe” and “something that works.” Trump received his vaccine privately, making him the only living former president who has not done so publicly in an attempt to boost confidence.
Biden has steadily increased weekly vaccine shipments, helped by increased production by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. and the recent authorization of a single dose vaccine by Johnson and Johnson. It hopes to have enough doses by the end of March to fully vaccinate 130 million people, although that will depend on the three companies meeting their delivery targets.
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Health officials frame the current effort as a race between vaccines and emerging variants, or mutations, of the virus, some of which are proving to be more easily transmissible. Biden hopes to administer enough injections before a new wave of the virus breaks out. Several US states have defied federal health officials by removing requirements for face masks and other precautions against the virus, measures that threaten to fuel new outbreaks.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said that the B.1.1.7 variant that was first found in the UK is set to become dominant in the US. In late March or early April.
The number of daily new cases in the US has dropped dramatically since January, but still remains well above where officials would like them to be. The United States continues to average about 50,000 new cases a day. Deaths, a lagging indicator, are also declining, but still at about 1,300 a day.
Biden has pleaded with Americans to continue to wear masks and take other precautions as vaccines increase.
“Get the vaccine, number one,” he told ABC. “Number two, stay socially detached. Number three, wear a mask when in public. And we will get through it and get there much faster than we would otherwise. “
(Add details of the vaccination rate in the 10th paragraph. An earlier version corrected the number of weeks in the title.)