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The U.S. government will increase the number of coronavirus vaccine doses sent to the states weekly to 13.5 million while also doubling the number of doses going to pharmacies, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday at a news briefing.
The government has increased the number of doses delivered weekly by 57% since Joe Biden became president on Jan. 20, she said. Last week, about 11 million vaccine doses were sent to the states.
Some states are struggling to meet the demand for vaccinations. California, for example, recently closed some vaccine centers temporarily because they ran short on supply.
Psaki said getting more vaccines to neighborhood pharmacies is another way to reach the public.
The government has been sending around 1 million vaccine doses weekly to 6,500 pharmacies. The number of doses will double to 2 million going forward, she said.
“This program will expand access in neighborhoods across the country so that people can call and make an appointment and get their shot conveniently and quickly,” she said. “Eventually, as supply increases, more than 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide will be providing COVID vaccines through this program.”
As of Tuesday, 71.6 million vaccine doses had been delivered with 55.2 million doses given, the CDC said. About 39 million people have gotten one shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and about 15 million have gotten both doses.
On Tuesday, Biden tweeted, “Before I took office, I set a big goal of administering 100 million shots in the first 100 days. With the progress we’re making, I believe we’ll not only reach that, we’ll break it.”
More vaccine is coming. The government has signed contracts for 100 million more doses of the Moderna vaccine and 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Biden said. Delivery dates are being moved up, and he said that means the United States should have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July.
Johnson & Johnson has submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization for its one-shot vaccine, which means a third vaccine should be available in the coming months.
Twitter: @WhiteHouse, Feb. 16, 2021.
CDC COVID Data Tracker: “COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States.”
Twitter: @POTUS, Feb. 16, 2021.
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