The statement comes on the same day as a rare production agreement between pharmaceutical rivals, and Texas' announced lift of spread mitigation measures.
President Joseph Biden announced today that enough COVID-19 vaccines will be available for the entire US adult population by the end of May, updating a previous estimation of July to achieve such a mark. The news comes on the same day as word that pharmaceutical rivals Merck and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) would be collaborating on greater production of the latter company’s vaccine.
A combination of factors—including the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency authorization for J&J's subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical’s single-dose vaccine Ad26.CoV2.S this weekend, as well as the White House-brokered deal between Merck and J&J—makes this two-month shortening of full rollout possible.
Biden additionally referenced in his statements Tuesday a government-aided ramp-up of Janssen vaccine production, calling the new timeline a mark of “important progress” in US pandemic management.
“As a consequence of the stepped up process that I ordered, and just outlined, this country will have enough vaccine supply as a target for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said.
The US reached a significant landmark in COVID-19 immunization this weekend, as more than 50 million Americans have now received at least 1 dose of the authorized BNT162b2 from Pfizer, mRNA-1273 from Moderna, or Ad26.CoV2.S.
In the last 3 weeks, during which time nearly 20 million vaccine doses have been administered, seven-day averages of new daily COVID-19 cases in the US have decreased from approximately 250,000 to 67,000.
Though experts continue to stress measures of social distancing, masking, and limited interaction during this time of significantly dropped cases, legislators have begun to buck against such advisory in favor of dropping cases and increasing vaccinations.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday an executive order to lift statewide mask mandates and allowance of 100% capacity in all businesses beginning next week.
Abbott deferred authority on such mandates to county judges, stating that if hospitalization due to COVID-19 in any of the 22 hospital regions in the state reach ≥15% in hospital bed capacity in that region for seven-plus days, a judge may place mitigation mandates back in order for that county.
Texas’ seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is approximately 7700 as of Tuesday.