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Biden says goal of 100m shots in 100 days will be met on Friday, 42 days early

Danielle Zoellner
·3-min read
 (AP)
(AP)

President Joe Biden has announced that his administration will reach his pledge of 100 million vaccine doses within his first 100 days of office on Friday – 42 days ahead of schedule.

As of Wednesday, the United States had administered more than 96 million vaccine doses under Mr Biden, and the country was averaging about 2 to 2.5 million doses per day.

At the start of his presidency, Mr Biden announced the goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses within 100 days in an effort to get Americans vaccinated as Covid-19 continued to circulate. But some health experts criticised the goal as "too low" given that the country was administering almost one million vaccine doses per day under former President Donald Trump.

Now the Biden administration looks to have far exceeded its goal.

“I’m proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans,” Mr Biden said on Thursday afternoon.

As of Thursday, the US has administered more than 115 million vaccine doses since December, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date, 12.3 per cent of the US population was fully vaccinated for Covid-19.

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When Mr Biden took office eight weeks ago, just 8 per cent of those 65 years or older, those most vulnerable to Covid-19, had received a vaccine, the president said. But now 65 per cent of people aged 65 and older have received at least one dose.

“This is a time for optimism but it’s not a time for relaxation,” Mr Biden said. “I need all Americans, I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”

He announced that his administration would unveil a new vaccination goal next week after surpassing 100 million vaccines administered.

Another goal Mr Biden was pushing was for every state to open up vaccine eligibility by 1 May to allow any American adult to access the jab.

Although the US was vaccinating the public at a high rate, with the country hitting a record 2.4 million doses administered in a single day last week, health officials are still struggling with vaccine hesitancy.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to express hesitancy about receiving a vaccine, according to recent polling.

The rise of new variants has also caused concern among health officials, at a time when more and more states are rolling back their coronavirus guidelines as more of the public receives a vaccine.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, has implored state officials to wait longer before they start to roll back guidelines in an effort to prevent another surge in the pandemic.

"There are some states now that are pulling back a bit more prematurely than they should on the public health measures," Dr Fauci said on NBC’s Today on Thursday morning.

"It's a race between the vaccine and the virus," he added.