Biden administration increases weekly vaccine shipment to states to 14.5M doses

Biden administration increases weekly vaccine shipment to states to 14.5M doses
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The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it is further increasing the weekly vaccine shipments the federal government sends to states. 

The White House’s COVID-19 response team announced that states will now receive 14.5 million doses starting next week, a jump from 13.5 million. 

The team tweeted that the figure is “an increase of almost 70% since we took office just over a month ago.”

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White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiSchumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine amid Russia tensions Biden rushes to pressure Russia as Ukraine fears intensify Pelosi requests all-member briefing on Ukraine MORE said Tuesday that White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsBiden says announcement coming next week on free high-quality masks Overnight Health Care — CDC won't change mask recommendation US ordering 500K more courses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody cocktail MORE first made the announcement on a call with governors Tuesday morning. 

The announcement comes a week after the White House announced it was boosting the number of doses being distributed from 11 million to the 13.5 million.

The Biden administration is working to bolster its vaccination efforts in the face of a slew of variants that appear to be more infectious than the original strain of the coronavirus that spread across the globe. COVID-19 cases are falling across the country, but the presence of the variants threatens to make that drop only temporary.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 65 million people have been inoculated with at least one shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, the only two so far approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Of those people, nearly 20 million have received both doses, or roughly 6 percent of the U.S. population. 

The expansion of the federal government’s distribution of the vaccines comes as Moderna and Pfizer said Tuesday they will be able to deliver more than 130 million additional doses combined by the end of March. The two companies already have contracts to provide 600 million doses.