US to hit 200 million vaccine doses target ‘this week’, says White House

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 22 2021 04:15 AM

Nursing student Brian Pineda and volunteer Susie Bushnell dance as they welcome people to a vaccination center as California opens up vaccine eligibility to any residents 16 years and older in Chula Vista, California, U.S., April 15, 2021. Mike Blake, Reuters

The United States will hit President Joe Biden's target of administering 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccines within his first 100 days in office by the end of this week, the White House said Wednesday.

Biden will make a speech later, in which he will "note that the United States will reach over 200 million shots this week," a White House official said on condition of anonymity.

The achievement came in slightly ahead of schedule, with Biden marking his 100th day in office at the end of next week.

While the United States leads the world in Covid-19 deaths, it has also raced ahead in the vaccination stakes, outperforming some major European countries and neighboring Canada.

Biden came into office on January 20 initially vowing to get 100 million shots administered in his first 100 days. On March 25, with vaccination deliveries far ahead of their targets, he doubled the goal.

"I know it's ambitious, twice our original goal," Biden said. "But no other country in the world has even come close -- not even close -- to what we are doing."

Starting in May, all states will be required to lift restrictions on eligibility for access to the free shots. Many have already done that.

Dampening the celebratory mood in the White House is a surge of infection rates in parts of the country, including Michigan.

Death rates, however, remain down nationwide as a result of the high vaccination rate among the elderly and improved care.

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