In January, President Biden aimed to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccination shots to Americans in the first 100 days that his administration had taken office. Initially seen as aggressive, that objective was met only 58 days in. In a recent speech, the president explained how this was achieved: “Using the power given to a President under the Defense Production Act, we expedited critical materials in vaccine production, such as equipment, machinery, and supplies. We worked with vaccine manufacturers to speed up the delivery of millions more doses and brokered a historic manufacturing partnership between competing companies who put patriotism and public health first.” Last week in a press conference, President Biden doubled his goal to 200 million shots in 100 days.
Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a nearly $10 billion investment by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with significant funding from the American Rescue Plan, “to expand access to vaccines and better serve communities of color, rural areas, low-income populations, and other underserved communities in the COVID-19 response. This funding will expand access to vaccines for vulnerable populations and increase vaccine confidence across the country.”
With a pledge of seeing 90% of U.S. adults eligible by April 19 and 90% being within five miles of a vaccination location, President Biden’s next phase of vaccine dissemination directs all states, tribes, and territories to make every U.S. adult eligible by May 1st. To help reach this new milestone:
- the number of vaccination sites will increase, including adding mass vaccination sites, community centers, local and federal retail pharmacies, and mobile clinics;
- more people will be able to provide and support vaccinations, including active duty troops, and “qualified professionals such as Dentists, advanced and intermediate Emergency Medical Technicians, Midwives, Optometrists, Paramedics, Physician Assistants, Podiatrists, Respiratory Therapists, and Veterinarians, as well as medical students, nursing students, and other healthcare students in the previously listed professions under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act”;
- the federal government will provide tools and resources to help individuals find a vaccine location more easily (including a federally-supported website and toll-free number), as well as provide technical support at the state level for states to improve their existing COVID-19- and vaccine-related websites.