Biden Announces New Steps To Boost Vaccine Supply
President Joe Biden announced a set of actions to ensure that the federal government will have enough vaccine supply for the entire U.S. population by the end of summer.
The Biden Administration will increase overall, weekly vaccine supply to states, Tribes and territories from 8.6 million doses to a minimum of 10 million doses. This increase of 1.4 million doses per week will allow millions more Americans to get vaccinated sooner than previously anticipated. The Administration is committing to maintaining this as the minimum supply level for the next three weeks.
The government is taking action to provide states, Tribes and territories with a reliable three-week supply look-ahead. The Department of Health and Human Services will provide allocation estimates for the upcoming three weeks as opposed to the one week look-ahead that they previously received.
This increased transparency will give state and local leaders greater certainty around supply so that they can plan their vaccination efforts and administer vaccines effectively and efficiently.
President Biden directed his COVID-19 Response Coordinator to work with HHS to increase total vaccine supply for the American people. Biden said the government is working to purchase an additional 100 million doses of anti-covid vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.
This increases the total vaccine order for the U.S. by 50 percent, from 400 million to 600 million. These additional doses are expected to deliver this summer. With these additional doses, the U.S. will have enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of this summer, according to Biden.
“We’re using the Defense Production Act to launch a full-scale, wartime effort to address the supply shortages we inherited from the previous administration,” he told reporters.
“We’re going to be working across the government, with private industry, to ramp up production of vaccine and protective equipment — the syringes, the needles, the gloves, the swabs, and the masks — everything that’s needed to protect, test, vaccinate, and take care of our people,” he added.
The government is also expanding testing, which will help schools and businesses reopen safely and protect the most vulnerable.
Biden insisted that in the next few months, masks — not vaccines — are the best defense against COVID-19. “Experts say that wearing masks from now until April would save 50,000 lives who otherwise will pass away if we don’t wear these masks,” he noted.
He warned that things are going to continue to get worse before they get better. “The death toll, experts tell us, is likely to top 500,000 by the end of next month — February — and cases will continue to mount.”
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