Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new target of 200 million COVID vaccinations in Americans’ arms in his first 100 days in office.
The president will make the announcement at his first presidential press conference, NBC News reported.
Biden hit his original benchmark of 100 million shots last Friday, his 59th day in office. It was a target that critics called too low. At the current rate of 2.5 million shots per day, the administration is on track to hit the 200 million mark by April 30, its 100th day in office.
Ahead of the president’s announcement, the White House announced on Thursday that it will spend $ 10 billion to convince people to get the COVID vaccine as infections in the United States increase and experts warn of a fourth increase.
The money, which comes in part from President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan, will also be used to expand access to the vaccine in communities of color, rural areas and low-income populations, according to a White House fact sheet.
The money will also be used to “boost confidence in vaccines across the country.”
The focus on increasing vaccination coverage comes as the United States passed 30 million coronavirus infections this week, more variants of the virus are being detected, and several states – against the advice of health experts – are lifting mitigating measures such as wearing a mask.
“I remain concerned about the latest data and the apparent blockage we see in the trajectory of the pandemic,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Wednesday. “CDC is keeping a close eye on these numbers.”
The White House announced on Thursday that it will spend $ 10 billion to convince people to get the COVID vaccine and expand access to the vaccine in communities of color, rural areas, and low-income populations.
This month, the United States saw the first increase in the number of new COVID cases on a weekly basis since January, and the number of cases is rising higher in 30 of the 50 states. More than 546,000 people have died in the US from the virus.
In addition, more cases of the COVID variants from the UK, Brazil and South Africa are being detected.
In the past week alone, the US reported 2,926 new variant cases – more than the country reported in December, January and February combined, a USA TODAY analysis found.
Health experts warn there could be a fourth wave of the virus unless preventive measures – such as wearing a mask – are left in place.
How the $ 10 billion will be spent
$ 6 billion to expand access to Covid-19 vaccines in underprivileged communities
$ 3 billion to boost confidence in vaccines
$ 300 million for community health worker services to support Covid-19 prevention
$ 32 million for training, technical assistance and evaluation
-White House Information Sheet
“When I am often asked, ‘Are we going to turn the corner?’, My answer is really more, ‘We’re on the corner. Whether or not we’re going to turn that corner remains to be seen,’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci at Wednesday’s press conference from health officials.
And Walensky warned, “Decisions we make now will determine what the pandemic looks like in the days and weeks ahead.
Six states have lifted their mask mandates from the general public: Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Alabama, Indiana and Utah will do so in the first half of April.
Nearly a quarter of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while about 13% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Racial breakdown data is not exhaustive, but of the 39 states analyzed by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 19% of whites were vaccinated, compared with 11% of blacks and 9% of Latinos.
Herd immunity is considered achieved when 75% of the population is vaccinated.
Health experts warned people should remain cautious until vaccination coverage has risen.
‘What worries me is the images of what is happening in spring breakers, in people who are not continuing to implement prevention strategies while we are fully scaled up. We’re at 13 percent, ”Walensky said. “We have to be much higher than that to feel like we have enough protection in this country.”
The move to increase vaccination coverage comes as COVID cases are on the rise in the United States and more variants of the virus are being detected
“I remain concerned about the latest data and the apparent stagnation we see in the pandemic trajectory,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky Wednesday.
President Joe Biden announced that he plans to expand to all adults effective May 1.
And, in a speech to the nation earlier this month, Biden urged people to get vaccinated, distance themselves socially, and wear face masks so that the country doesn’t have to re-introduce restrictions to get the virus back under control. to get.
If we don’t stay vigilant and circumstances change, we may need to fix the limitations to get back on track. Please, we don’t want to do that again, ”he said.
‘We have made so much progress, now is not the time to give up. Just as we came from a dark winter to a hopeful spring and summer is not the time to break the rules, ”he added.
Several states are already extending their age of eligibility for vaccines.
The governors of Indiana, Texas and Georgia have announced plans to make everyone over the age of 16 eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming week.
The three states join West Virginia, Tennessee and Arizona, which have announced plans to offer vaccines to anyone over the age of 16 in the next two weeks.
Two states – Mississippi and Alaska – are already vaccinating residents 16 and older.
In the United States, an average of 2.5 million extra shots are given every day.
As of Wednesday, the US has enough supplies to vaccinate nearly 20 percent of the population, and had given at least one dose to 25.3 percent of the population and 13.7 percent of Americans fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg.
At that rate, the US could achieve immunity to herds within four months.
Herd immunity is widely regarded as the measure of when life can return to some semblance of normalcy.