Biden says US to hit 200M vaccine target on Wednesday

President Biden said the U.S. hit his target of administering 200 million doses. Biden wants businesses to give paid leave for vaccinations, FDA cited multiple inspection failures at the Emergent plant producing J&J vaccines in Baltimore, and watch for a House Democratic drug pricing bill tomorrow.

We’ll start with Biden:

Achievement unlocked: 200 million vaccines in less than 100 days

The United States has entered a new phase of its coronavirus vaccination effort, President Biden said Wednesday, as the nation will have administered 200 million coronavirus shots by the end of the day.

“Today, we did it. Today we hit 200 million shots on the 92nd day in office,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “It’s an incredible achievement for the nation.”

Attaining the landmark number of vaccinations comes as the administration reports more than 133 million Americans, or more than half of the adult population, have received at least one shot.

Biden noted that the first three months of the country’s vaccination effort was targeted to seniors and health workers, but that has now changed. By Thursday, Biden said 80 percent of people over the age of 65 will have received at least one shot.

Everyone over the age of 16 is now eligible to get a shot, the president said, noting that 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of someplace they can get vaccinated.

What’s next: The pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent days, and the U.S. is increasingly close to a point at which there will be more supply than demand. Overcoming hesitation and increasing the flexibility of the vaccination process to make it easier for everyone to get a shot who needs one will be key next steps.

Biden said he understands young people may not think they need to be vaccinated, but he reminded the public that hundreds of people are still dying from COVID-19 every day and nobody is invincible.