President Joe Biden said that the U.S. will have enough vaccine supply for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than originally anticipated.
“We are now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. That would cover about 300 million Americans.
“That’s progress,” Biden said.
Biden also said that Johnson & Johnson will collaborate with rival Merck to ramp up vaccine production, as the administration invokes the Defense Production Act to equip two Merck facilities. He compared it to a wartime collaboration to accelerate production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a single-dose inoculation that received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration this week. Two other vaccines, from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, also have been given the greenlight, but they require two doses for maximum effectiveness.
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Biden also set a goal of having every K-12 teacher get a vaccine shot by the end of March, an effort to more quickly return children to schools.
Biden said that when he and members of his administration came into office, they found that Trump and his team “had not contracted for nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that.”
He said that when he came into office, they found that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine production “simply wasn’t coming fast enough.”
“So my team has been hard at work to accelerate that effort,” he said.
Biden also cautioned that “there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now.”
“We must remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively, and look out for one another,” he said.
Just hours earlier, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, announced that state would end Covid-19 restrictions, which include a mask mandate.
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