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U.S. tops 100 million Covid vaccine doses administered


The United States on Friday topped 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 35 million people have been fully vaccinated, accounting for 13.5% of the adult U.S. population, according to the CDC. Over 65.9 million people have received at least one shot of the two-dose regimens, the CDC said.

The milestone includes the 16.5 million vaccines administered under the Trump administration, but brings President Joe Biden closer to his goal of getting 100 million shots into arms in his first 100 days in office.

Of those 65 and older, more than 32% have been fully vaccinated and over 61% have received at least one dose, according to the CDC. That’s notable because about 80% of deaths caused by Covid-19 in the U.S. have been among people 65 and older.

The administration has gradually accelerated the pace of vaccinations since Biden took office. The White House originally sought to administer 1 million shots per day, which some public health specialists criticized as a low target. On Friday, according to the CDC, the U.S. administered a record 2.9 million shots.

There are now three Covid-19 vaccines that have received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Moderna’s and Pfizer’s two-dose vaccines were authorized for emergency use in December and Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine received clearance last month.

The White House has been working with the manufacturers to hasten production and increase the total supply of shots committed to the U.S. On Wednesday, Biden announced that the administration plans to secure an additional 100 million doses of the J&J vaccine.

J&J currently has a deal with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses by the end of June, though White House officials said this week that the company will be able to deliver those doses by the end of May. That’s thanks to a deal in which J&J rival Merck will help make doses of the vaccine, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Friday at a news briefing.

Zients added that Moderna and Pfizer are both expected to deliver 200 million doses each of their vaccines by the end of May.

“That is more than enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all adult Americans by the end of May,” Zients said. “Now we need to ramp up the number of vaccinators, as we’ve been talking about, and the number of places where Americans can get vaccinated.”

Biden on Thursday used his first prime time address to the nation to call on states to make all adults eligible for the Covid vaccines by May 1. While the CDC sets guidance on who should be prioritized for the shots while supply is limited, states make the final decision. Alaska started to open up eligibility prior to Biden’s speech.

There is concern from some public health specialists that while demand for the vaccines has been high in the initial rollout, as it becomes more available demand may wane.

Biden in his Thursday evening address urged Americans to continue to follow public health measures and get vaccinated when it’s their turn. He also set a goal for Americans to be able to gather in person with their friends and loved ones in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July if the pandemic continues to recede in the U.S.

“If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we’ll have proven once again that this country can do anything,” Biden said. But “if we don’t stay vigilant, and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track.”