Biden says US will meet 100 million vaccine target on Friday

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WASHINGTON – As the United States moves closer to President Joe Biden’s goal of injecting 100 million coronavirus vaccines weeks ahead of its target date, the White House announced Thursday that the country is now in a position to help its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to provide millions of life-saving vaccines.

The Biden administration revealed the outlines of a plan to ‘loan’ a limited number of vaccines to Canada and Mexico as the president announced that the United States was on the verge of meeting its injection target 100 days “well ahead of schedule”.

I am proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days after the start of our administration, we will have achieved our goal.Biden said. He has vowed to unveil a new vaccination target next week, as the United States is on track to have enough of the three currently licensed vaccines to cover the entire adult population in just 10 weeks.

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Ahead of Biden’s remarks, the White House said it was finalizing its plan to send a combined 4 million dose AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada during its first vaccine export. Press secretary Jen Psaki said details of the “loan” were still being worked out, but 2.5 million doses would go to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada.

“Our first priority remains vaccinating the American population,” Psaki said. But she added that “ensuring that our neighbors can contain the virus is a crucial step for the mission, is essential to end the pandemic”.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been authorized in the United States but has been authorized by the World Health Organization. Tens of millions of doses have been stored in the United States, awaiting emergency use authorization, and this has sparked an international outcry that the life-saving vaccine is on hold when it could be used elsewhere. The White House said only 7 million doses of AstraZeneca were ready to ship.

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The initial series of US-made doses are owned by the federal government under the terms of agreements with drugmakers, and the Biden administration has faced calls from allies around the world to release the injections of AstraZeneca for immediate use. Biden also responded to direct requests from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to purchase vaccines produced in the United States.

Global public health advocates say wealthy countries like the United States need to do much more to help stem the spread of the pandemic. The World Health Organization released a report on Thursday that found less than 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Africa so far. This is the equivalent of what the United States administers in a matter of days.

Biden has decided to make the United States contribute financially to the COVAX alliance supported by the United Nations and the World Health Organization, which will share the vaccine with more than 90 low- and middle-income countries, but the United States have not yet committed to dose sharing. .

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From his early days in office, Biden set clear – and achievable – parameters for America’s success, whether it be vaccinations or school reopens, as part of an apparent strategy of under -promise, then overbroadcast. Aides believes exceeding his targets breeds confidence in the government after the Trump administration’s sometimes fanciful rhetoric about the virus.

The 100 million dose target was first announced on December 8, days before the United States even had an approved vaccine for COVID-19, not to mention the three that have now been approved. emergency. Still, he was generally seen within reach, albeit optimistic.

By the time of Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the United States had already administered 20 million shots at a rate of about 1 million per day, complaining at the time that Biden’s target was not quite ambitious. He quickly revised it up to 150 million doses in his first 100 days.

Today, the United States is injecting an average of about 2.2 million doses per day – and the pace is likely to increase significantly later this month in conjunction with an expected increase in vaccine supply.

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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injections of 96 million doses have been reported to the agency since Biden’s inauguration, but those reports are behind the actual date of administration. Vaccination trendlines indicated Biden broke the 100 million mark on Thursday, with the numbers likely to be confirmed by the CDC as early as Friday.

The president decided to speed up vaccine deliveries from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as well as to increase the number of places to receive vaccines and people who can administer them, with a focus on increasing the country’s capacity to inject doses as a way of removing supply constraints.

The risk of setting overly optimistic expectations is that an administration could define itself by its inability to meet them, as in May 2020, when President Donald Trump said the nation had “prevailed” over the virus.

At the time, the country had experienced around 80,000 deaths from the virus. This week, the death toll in the United States reached 538,000. Trump’s lax approach and lack of credibility have also contributed to the poor respect for public safety rules by the American public.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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