Story at a glance
- During a CNN Town Hall, President Biden stated 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be available by summer 2021.
- Vaccine manufacturers have increased supply commitments, and some candidates are awaiting regulatory approval.
President Biden covered multiple topics during his public forum on CNN’s Town Hall Tuesday night, but how his administration would handle the COVID-19 pandemic was first and foremost on the docket.
While answering a myriad of questions, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to providing at least 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the country by summer 2021.
“By the end of July we'll have over 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate every single American,” he told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
Upon taking office, Biden has pledged his administration will bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with reorganizing the disheveled vaccine rollout.
Actions include focusing the Defense Production Act’s powers on manufacturing equipment and issuing an executive order to increase the number of vaccinators at hand.
Other federal powers he enacted include activating the National Guard to help distribute vaccines.
“We have made significant strides increasing the number of vaccinators. I issued an executive order allowing former retired docs and nurses to do it,” he said on air. “We have over a thousand military personnel ... We have gotten the National Guard engaged ... Plus we have opened up a considerable amount of locations where you can get the vaccine.”
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention count more than 55 million vaccines having been administered out of nearly 72 million vaccine doses being distributed.
Pharmaceutical companies are stepping up to provide the U.S. government with a larger volume of doses. Moderna, whose COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency usage, pledged 100 million doses by the end of March.
Other companies, including Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, are in the process of receiving U.S. regulatory approval for their vaccine candidates. If either or both are approved, the U.S. pool of available vaccine doses stands to grow, making Biden’s plan to vaccinate 100 million people within his first 100 days in office more feasible.