President Joe Biden said today that the country will hit his target of 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in 100 days on Friday — 42 days ahead of schedule.
“When I announced in early December a goal that I set of administering 100 million shots for the virus in the first 100 days of our office, it was considered ambitious, some even suggested was somewhat audacious,” Biden said at the White House Thursday afternoon. “I’m proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days into our administration, we will have met my goal of administering 100 million shots to our fellow Americans.”
Biden made the pledge to provide the 100 million vaccines in 100 days during the presidential transition, shortly before the treatments were approved for emergency use.
Average daily vaccinations have risen to about 2.5 million per day, up from nearly 1 million a day when Biden took office — a level that led to criticism that Biden had set the bar too low, with experts arguing by the time Biden was inaugurated that the rate of vaccinations would need to climb much higher.
In total, nearly 116 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered since they first became available in December, according to CNN. The government has orders in for about 800 million doses of the three vaccines approved for emergency use. About 29% of adults have received at least one dose so far, with coverage rising to about 65% for those 65 and older.
Use of the Defense Production Act played a key role in speeding up vaccine production, Biden said, resulting in a system that will generate enough vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May.