President Joe Biden announced that the federal government will boost coronavirus vaccine deliveries to states most in need over the next three weeks. Tuesday's announcement, which came amidst growing criticism over vaccine shortages, also saw the president give the bold prediction of enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall, as reported by CBS News.
Biden recognized shortcomings in vaccine delivery over recent weeks, with many states left unsure of the amount of doses they will receive on a week-to-week basis. Tens of thousands of appointments for vaccination shots have been canceled across the country due to shortages. Biden described his administration's approach as a "wartime effort," and expected to see a 16 percent rise in deliveries over the next three weeks.
He also revealed plans to ensure a long-term supply of the vaccine by purchasing 100 million doses each from Pfizer and Moderna, as reported by NPR. Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine is expected to receive emergency authorization in the coming weeks, another boost in vaccine numbers when it becomes available.
Next week, the federal government is expected to release 10.1 million first and second doses across the country, made up of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It is a significant jump from the 8.6 million available this week. The Biden administration also promised to give state governors a three-week forecast on vaccine allocations to help improve distribution. The president decried the distribution process of the preceding Trump administration, saying the system was "in worse shape than we anticipated."
However, Biden remained optimistic about his administration's approach to combating the coronavirus pandemic, expecting to have enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. He also revised the amount of vaccines his administration aimed to deliver during its first 100 days, from 100 to 150 million, and encouraged Americans to continue wearing masks and following guidelines.
Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, spoke about the planned boost in vaccines during an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday.
"It's going to be a challenge. I think it was a reasonable goal that was set, we always want to do better than the goal you set, but it is really a floor and not a ceiling," he said.
Biden's proclamation comes after predicting on Monday that vaccines will be available for all Americans that want them by spring, calling it a "logistical challenge that exceeds anything we've ever tried in this country," but achievable.