On Tuesday, President Biden announced that the United States will have a large enough vaccine supply for every adult to be vaccinated by the end of May. This is a shift up in the timeline as the administration previously projected that the end of July would be when all adults could realistically be vaccinated.
At a press conference, Biden explained, “About three weeks ago, we were able to say that we’ll have enough vaccine supply for adults by the end of July. And I’m pleased to announce today, as a consequence of the stepped-up process that I’ve ordered and just outlined, this country will have enough vaccine supply, say it again, for every adult in America by the end of May, by the end of May. That’s progress, important progress, but it’s not enough to have the vaccine supply. ”
He added that there is more to be done, including getting additional vaccinators. The president said that the administration is utilizing “retired doctors and nurses,” adding that “we deployed more than 1,500 federal medical personnel you usually see during national disasters, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, and the Commissioned Health Corps at the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Defense Department, including the National Guard, with thousands more to come.”
Biden also added that the vaccine has been sent to additional places where people can get the shot, including over 7,000 pharmacies to create easier access for Americans who want to be vaccinated.
He stated that teachers should be prioritized, and announced that he will be telling states to include this prioritization in their distribution. Biden addressed this measure, saying, “Let me be clear, we can reopen schools if the right steps are taken, even before employees are vaccinated. But time and again, we’ve heard from educators and parents that have anxieties about that. So as yet another move to help accelerate the safer reopening of our schools, let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is.”
Biden challenged every state and territory, including the District of Columbia, to provide all educators, school staff members and childcare workers to receive at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of March.
Biden concluded by saying that “this fight is far from over,” and urged Americans to continue to follow social-distancing guidelines and get vaccinated when they are eligible.
Biden also stressed the importance of the Covid relief bill being passed, saying that “we need the United States Senate to follow the House and pass the American Rescue Plan,” adding that “without new resources, our entire effort will be set back.”
The president added, “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now or assure that victory is inevitable. We can’t assume that. We must remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively, and look out for one another. That’s how we’re going to get ahead of this virus, get our economy again, and get back to our loved ones.”
When asked when things will return to normal, Biden answered that his “hope is, by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal, and before that, my hope.”
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