U.S. Hits 100-Million Vaccine Mark Three Months Into Effort
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. has achieved a milestone of administering more than 100 million Covid-19 shots, with 66 million people having received at least a first dose of the vaccine.
About 2.3 million doses a day are being given in the U.S., a figure that is likely to rise significantly in coming weeks with the rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine. President Joe Biden has pledged there will be enough doses by the end of May for any American adult who wants to be immunized, an estimate that matches a Bloomberg analysis of drugmakers’ delivery timetables.
The boost in supply, the availability of a one-shot vaccine and the growing number of places where people can get immunized have combined to accelerate the U.S. vaccination campaign a year into the pandemic. Widespread immunity from the virus is considered crucial to ending restrictions on personal and business activity, and this week top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci predicted that American life would begin to return to normal toward the end of the summer or near the start of fall.
On Thursday, Biden said he would direct states to open up vaccine eligibility to all American adults by May 1, with the goal of allowing small groups to gather by July 4. A Bloomberg News analysis of vaccine manufacturers’ delivery timelines last month estimated that there would be enough vaccine to cover more than 200 million Americans by that time, and drugmakers have been working to accelerate timetables.
“That does not mean that everyone will get a shot immediately, but May 1 is the date every adult will be eligible to sign up to get the shot,” Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said at a press briefing Friday. “By the end of May, we expect to have enough vaccine supply available for all adults in this country.”
Biden has said his goal is to oversee the administration of 100 million doses in the first 100 days of his presidency. Former President Donald Trump’s administration led the early part of the vaccine rollout that included the first 20 million doses, according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the current pace, Biden’s 100-million-dose goal is likely to be reached near the end of next week.
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Along with speeding up the immunization rollout, health officials at the federal and local levels are focused on getting the vaccine to hard-to-reach populations and those who may be hesitant. The Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker shows recent improvements by some Southern states in reaching Black populations but that there are still significant disparities among groups in terms of vaccine rates.
Globally, the U.S. has administered more vaccine doses than any other country, and accounts for more than a quarter of all known doses. Europe’s vaccine rollout has proceeded more slowly, while countries in Africa are just starting their campaigns.
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