Biden says US will have enough doses to vaccinate every American by July
The U.S. has secured an additional 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, President Biden announced Thursday, finalizing a commitment that was promised last month.
Speaking at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Biden said the purchases will increase supply by 50 percent, to 600 million doses.
Biden, who did not remove his mask to speak, said the companies are stepping up delivery timelines, so 100 million doses that were promised by the end of June will now be delivered by the end of May.
He said the administration has secured enough doses from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to inoculate every American by the end of July. Previously, Biden had said there would be enough doses for every American by the end of the summer.
An estimated 260 million people in the United States are currently considered eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, though children could be eligible by the fall, given current clinical trials.
Good news/bad news: The extra doses will not be immediately available, meaning that the existing supply shortages plaguing the rollout are likely to continue, at least in the short term.
Instead, the extra 200 million doses will provide a backstop for when the initial supplies are exhausted. Some experts think that supply issues will be solved by spring, but will be replaced with a demand crunch, given the rates of vaccine hesitancy.
Global concern: The U.S. has now pre-purchased enough vaccine doses to inoculate the population twice over. Which is not great for the rest of the world, or America in the long term.