Using the Defense Production Act to aid in the effort remains on the table.
President Joe Biden recently announced that he and his administration have reached agreements with vaccine manufactures Pfizer and Moderna to buy an additional 200 million doses of their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, acquiring 100 million from each company. This will raise the total number of doses purchased by the US government to 600 million.
The administration aims to have all of the additional doses by the early summer, in hopes of administering them to 300 million Americans, the majority of the population, by the fall at the latest.
Additionally, Biden announced plans to increase the number of vaccine doses being shipped to states, from 8.6 million per week to 10 million for the following 3 weeks. On a call Tuesday, the President informed Governors that their vaccine allocations will increase by 16% starting next week. The states will also begin being notified in advance when they will be receiving their shipments.
“This is going to allow millions of more Americans to get vaccinated sooner than previously anticipated -- we’ve got a long way to go, though,” the President said.
The increase in vaccine supply comes shortly after news from the President that the US will soon be able to vaccinate 1.5 million people per day, an increase from the initial target of 1 million. President Biden also stated that by the spring, he believes that anyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to get it.
However, questions still remain on how they will ramp up production so quickly and how successful the anticipated rollout will be. Key issues will be securing enough syringes and necessary supplies, as well as enough professionals to administer the vaccines.
“I hope you’re all asking me by the end of the summer that ‘you have too much vaccine left over,’ that ‘you have too much equipment left over,’” Biden said. “That’s not my worry. I hope that becomes a problem rather than we somehow find interruptions in supply of vaccines.”