President Joe Biden, who vowed before swearing in that his administration will get 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in people’s arms within 100 days of assuming office, announced Thursday that half the target, or 50 million shots, were administered in just 37 days.
“That’s weeks ahead of schedule, even with the setbacks we faced during the recent winter storms,” the President said at a White House event commemorating the 50 millionth COVID-19 vaccine shot. “This coming week, we will administer over 12 million shots”, he added.
Biden provided an update on the strong progress that his administration made across its pandemic response.
The vaccination distribution to states has been increased by 70 percent. Nearly 60 percent of people over the age of 75 have now received at least one shot. Additionally, about 75 percent of the people who live in long-term facilities have received their first shot. Those cases are at the lowest level since reporting began in May.
Biden made it clear that the FDA will decide on an emergency use authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine “based on science, not due to any political pressure from me or anyone else”.
FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on Friday to recommend authorization of a single-shot coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine arm, Janssen Biotech.
Biden said that if the emergency use authorization is granted, “we have a plan to roll it out as quickly as Johnson & Johnson can make it”. “We’ll use every conceivable way to expand manufacturing of the vaccine, and we’ll make even more rapid progress on overall vaccines in March”.
More than 21.5 million Americans, or 6.7 percent of the total U.S. population, have so far been fully vaccinated, according to COVID Tracking Project.
With 2332 new deaths reporting on Thursday, the total U.S. COVID-19 fatalities rose to 508307.
75565 new cases of coronavirus infections were reported in the country in the same period, taking the national total to 28413376.
A total of 52,669 COVID patients are currently admitted in U.S. hospitals. Out of this, 10,846 patients are admitted in Intensive Care Units.
The number of COVID hospitalization has been decreasing every day since January 12. There are now fewer people hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any time since November 4, and fewer than during either the spring or summer surges.
Out of 1.83 million people tested for the virus Thursday, only 4.69 percent were diagnosed with the disease.
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