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WASHINGTON — President Biden pledged Tuesday that the federal government will have enough doses of the coronavirus vaccine to inoculate all adult Americans by the end of May.

The Biden administration had previously pledged to have enough vaccines to inculcate most adults — roughly 300 million people — by late summer.

The new announcement came on the heels of an agreement between the Biden administration and the drug maker Merck that will allow the company, which has a long history of vaccine development and manufacturing, to help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s recently authorized one-dose vaccine. Johnson & Johnson recently pledged that it will deliver 100 million doses of its shot in the first half of 2021.

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“About three weeks ago we were able to say that we would have enough vaccine supply for adults by the end of July,” he said in a press conference. “I’m pleased to announce today … this country will have enough vaccine supply … for every adult in America by the end of May — by the end of May. That’s progress.”

Biden also directed states to start vaccinating every teacher in America by the end of March, along with other school employees. He promised that teachers and school staff will be allowed, starting this month, to make a vaccine appointment at a pharmacy chain, like CVS or Walgreens. In many states only older adults can currently make a vaccine appointment at a chain pharmacy.

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It’s not clear, however, whether all adults willing to be vaccinated will actually be able to get a shot by May. Lack of supply has been just one of the factors slowing down the current mass vaccination campaign, Biden acknowledged.

“It’s not enough to have the vaccine supply, we need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people’s arms,” he said.

The Biden administration has stood up a number of efforts to help states get shots in arms, including mobilizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set up mass vaccination sites.

Biden did not highlight any new efforts to increase the number of vaccinators. Instead he touted his coronavirus response package, which includes $20 billion for vaccine administration funding.

  • Good for Biden ! he sure gets the wheels in motion. As stark contrast are states like Texas and Mississippi that abolish mask mandates and limited gathering capacity as if the pandemic is over ….. These states are jumping the gun with covid cases just a bit lower – but longevity of immunity from vaccines is still not clear, and variants are powerful spreaders. Leaders in those states are playing with fire, catering to naieve people, and selfishly targeting re-elections. A dangerous politics-based game. (Just as wild as seeing petro-fueled generators charging stranded, over-glorified electric vehicles ….)

  • As best I can tell by reading what is available to laymen, no one can say how effective the vaccines used in the US are against the variants.
    Although many reports claim something like “the mRNA vaccines are so effective there is going to be lots of immunity left over for the variants” or something like that, I remember being told antibodies are highly specific – and it is not clear the reactions they can generate in test tubes are really neutralizing.
    Although the variants are here in low numbers so far, they appear to be roughly as common as the original strain from Wuhan was about the same time last year. Maybe a month or two behind, but not more, IF transmission rates are similar.
    I understand we need to have immunity to Wuhan strain, and the current vaccines are giving us that – but no one seems to have proof a successful vaccination campaign will protect us from a new outbreak of one or more of the variants.

    It is also worth pointing out- if anyone was not already sure – it is clear both the Brazilian and South African variants are reinfecting people who were sick a few months back with the Wuhan type – and there are claims now that the 2nd infection is much worse than the first – this is bad, obviously, but also brings up a policy problem which CDC needs to address – if the vaccines DO work against the variants, should people who were sick before be moved to the front of the line for vaccination, to protect them from a second variant infection which will do them much more harm than their age/sex/risk factors would otherwise entitle them?

    Finally, these more damaging reinfections bring up the question of Antibody Dependent Enhancement – if it is happening from two natural infections, first Wuhan and then Brazilian for example – and if we have any vaccine to prevent it?

    As a layman I have no idea how to answer these questions, but reading say “The Coming Plague” it was my belief CDC sent people into the jungle to find the emerging diseases and stop them before they got to the airport – maybe we should be sending people to the hotspots to find out what is going on?

  • Data shows over 80 % of Covid deaths in the US occurred in age 65 and over , furthermore infection rates are extremely low at in class learning , my university is 1/2 of 1 percent , all facts

  • Ain’t gonna happen. The Virginia vaccination director has already said that the state won’t be through Group 1B until the end of April at the earliest – assuming they get promised increases in supply from the Federal Government, and there is no way that the other 60% of the population will be vaccinated in just a month. Many bigger states are far behind Virginia. Also, DOD has already said it will take until July to vaccinate all troops.

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