Biden Vows Enough Vaccine ‘for Every Adult American’ by End of May

President Biden said his administration had provided support to Johnson & Johnson that would enable the United States and its partners to make coronavirus vaccines around the clock. [Credit.Doug Mills/The New York Times]
[ – March 2, 2021] President Biden said on Tuesday that the United States was “on track” to have enough supply of coronavirus vaccines “for every adult in America by the end of May,” accelerating his effort to deliver the nation from the worst public health crisis in a century.

In a brief speech at the White House, Mr. Biden said his administration had provided support to Johnson & Johnson that would enable the company and its partners to make vaccines around the clock. The administration had also brokered a deal in which the pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. would help manufacture the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

Merck is the world’s second-largest vaccine manufacturer, though its own attempt at a coronavirus vaccine was unsuccessful. Officials described the partnership between the two competitors as historic and said it harks back to Mr. Biden’s vision of a wartime effort to fight the coronavirus, similar to the manufacturing campaigns when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

“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,” Mr. Biden said. “By the end of May. That’s progress — important progress.”

He also said he wanted all teachers to receive at least one shot by the end of this month.

He had previously said that there would be enough coronavirus vaccines for every American by the end of July.

Two other vaccine manufacturers, Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech, pledged last month to deliver together enough to cover 200 million Americans by that date.

Mr. Biden has already committed to purchasing a total of 600 million doses — enough for every American — of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and said those doses would be available by the end of July.

The pace of the nation’s vaccination effort has been steadily accelerating. As of Tuesday, about 51.7 million people had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, including about 26.1 million people — about 8 percent of Americans ages 18 or older — who have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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