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Biden to increase number of vaccine doses to states

The Biden administration will increase the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses going to states this week.

States will receive 13.6 million doses per week starting this week, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE told reporters Tuesday. The current shipment is about 11 million doses. 

That marks a 57 percent increase over the amount states were getting when Biden first took office, Psaki said. 

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The increased shipment comes as the U.S. faces a more contagious COVID-19 variant. 

While case numbers have dipped in recent weeks, experts expect the drop to be temporary. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects the variant to become the dominant strain in the U.S. by the end of March, making it critical as many people get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Nearly 53 million doses of the vaccines had been administered as of Sunday, according to the CDC. 

That number includes 14 million people who have received their second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.