The Biden administration has surpassed its goal of distributing 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines during its first 100 days in office.
The administration reached 100 million doses on Friday — just 58 days since Biden was inaugurated. The country is giving about 2.5 million vaccine shots a day, roughly.
“That’s just the floor. We will not stop until we have beat this pandemic. Next week, I will announce our next goal to put shots in arms," said Biden Thursday as he delivered remarks on the state of vaccinations at the White House.
Biden suggested the country may be able to reach 200 million vaccine shots by his 100th day in office.
“We may be able to double it," he told reporters on Friday.
On January 20, when Biden took office, the CDC reportedthe country had administered 16.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. On Friday afternoon, the CDC was reporting that more than 118 million doses had been administered.
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Biden said Thursday that it's a time for optimism, but not a time for relaxation.
"I need all Americans, I need all of you to do your part," he said. "Wash your hands, stay socially distanced, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
Biden reiterated his goal of having Americans able to spend the Fourth of July with loved ones in a small outdoor gatherings, which some see as a low bar.
"If we keep our guard up, stick together and stick with the science, we can look forward to a Fourth of July that feels a bit more normal, with small groups able to gather for cookouts in backyards and where we begin to declare out independence on Independence Day from the virus," said Biden.
The president said it's not a time for Americans to let their guard down regarding the virus.
"In the last week, we’ve seen an increase in the number of cases in several states," he said. "Scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants. While millions of people are vaccinated, we need millions more to be vaccinated."
Biden delivered his remarks hours after the White House confirmed that it would be sending a combined 4 million doses of vaccine to Mexico and Canada.
At a White House press briefing Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the U.S. would be sending doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to its neighbors to the north and south. While details are still being worked out, Psaki said that the U.S. plans to send 2.5 million doses of vaccine to Mexico and 1.5 million doses to Canada as a “loan.”
Psaki added at the briefing that the virus “knows no borders.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved for use in the U.S. The EU’s top medical agency on Thursday stood by its safety record and said that a small handful of cases of unusual blood clotting among the 17 million doses administered were not linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Last week, Biden announced he was directing states to lift age and occupation restrictions on the vaccine by May 1, and that the U.S. would have supplies to vaccinate all Americans by the end of May. He said that if vaccination rates continued to rise as he expects them to, Americans will be able to safely attend small gatherings for Independence Day.