When President Joe Biden took office a few weeks ago he promised Americans that his administration would be purchasing another 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses; 100 million from Pfizer and 100 million from Moderna. The purchase officially went through this week, marking a 50% increase in the nation’s total vaccine supply.
The US has now ordered a total of 600 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the two companies; which is enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans or nearly the whole adult population. The new supply is projected to be delivered by the end of July, so the current rate in which vaccines are being distributed will likely not change, however, the increase in supply will prevent the US from experiencing a shortage.
Biden spoke at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland this week in which he claimed that the vaccination program he inherited from the previous Trump administration was “in much worse shape” than his team had predicted, basically forcing them to start from square one.
“My predecessor, to be very blunt about it, did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating Americans. He didn’t order enough vaccines, and he didn’t mobilize enough people to administer the shots.”
Within his first three weeks in office, Biden and his administration managed to increase the weekly vaccine supply for states by 30%. Around 34.7 million American citizens have now received at least one of the two Covid-19 vaccine doses. “Millions more Americans will get vaccinated in February than the previous administration was on track to do,” Biden explained.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spoke with the media and claimed that he expects the US to hit “open season” for vaccinations by April; meaning a majority of Americans will be able to receive their shots by that point regardless of age, occupation or preexisting medical conditions.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have vaccines that are more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19. Both companies currently have the highest efficacy rates of any coronavirus shot being distributed around the world currently. Both of the shots rely on messenger RNA that sends coded messages to the body’s immune system to trigger a response that will rid the body of the virus should an individual become exposed.
Dr. Johan Bester is the director of bioethics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Medicine, who recently spoke with Business Insider about the amazing medical advancement that is a mRNA vaccine.
“The new mRNA technology is the Rolls Royce of vaccines. These are the top of the line for all vaccines that we’ve seen come out within the last year.”
Public health experts are also optimistic that the rate in which Americans are being vaccinated will increase if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine as well. The company asked US regulators to give its vaccine an emergency use authorization just last week, and the FDA is projected to discuss this request on February 26th. If approved, the vaccine could begin distribution a few days later.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.