President Joe Biden said the U.S. will have enough vaccines for every American adult by the end of May, moving up the president’s prior projection by two months.
“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said, Tuesday.
With Johnson & Johnson receiving Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, Biden has enacted measures to have the manufacturer working on vaccine production 24/7. Biden said he invoked the Defense Production Act so that pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. can get two facilities up to code so it can quickly expand production the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
“The more people we get vaccinated, the faster we’re going to overcome this virus and get back to our loved ones and get our economy back on track and start to move back to normal,” Biden said.
This week alone, Johnson & Johnson is expected to deliver 800,000 doses to pharmacies around the U.S. with the manufacturer projected to produce 100 million doses by mid-2021. California alone is expected to receive 380,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson, according to a Tweet by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday.
California has administered at least one dose to 20% of individuals aged 16 and up, and in n L.A. County, priority vaccinations are still going to healthcare workers and people 65 and up who need second doses. Eligibility in L.A. County was extended to teachers, food workers and first responders this week.
Before leaving his briefing, Biden said he hopes to be “back to normal” by this time next year. The White House’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said 80% of the U.S. would need to be vaccinated in order to reach “herd immunity” and at the moment, 8% of Americans have been vaccinated.