President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that there would be enough vaccine produced to inoculate every adult in the United States by the end of May.
The estimate is a significant speeding up of expectations for manufacture and delivery of the coronavirus vaccine. Previously, the Biden administration had set the goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his term. Critics noted that the modest goal would be set at the pace of vaccinations set by the previous administration.
"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said during remarks from the White House.
"Let me say that again, when we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccines to cover adults in America. We rectified that," he claimed.
Biden explained that the effort to vaccinate more people had been accomplished through a unique partnership involving vaccine manufacturing by Merck and rapid approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"About three weeks ago we were able to say that we'll have enough vaccine supply for adults by the end of July. I'm pleased to announce today that as a consequence of the stepped up process that I've ordered and just outlined this country will have enough vaccine supply, I'll say it again, for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden added.
"By the end of May," he repeated. "That's progress."
The Biden administration had been criticized for claiming that the former Trump administration had exited without leaving them a plan for vaccinations against the coronavirus.
In his speech, Biden also challenged every local government to take steps in order to push for the opening of schools by helping teachers to get vaccinated by the end of March.
New coronavirus cases and deaths have dropped precipitously in the U.S. from their peaks in early January. This had led some states to loosen lockdown standards and mask mandates. On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the state of Texas would be reopening 100% and dropping their statewide mask mandate completely by Wednesday.
Here's video of Biden's announcement:
Enough vaccines for every adult by end of May, says Bidenwww.youtube.com