President Biden said Tuesday that every American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should be able to get one by the end of July.
During a town hall meeting hosted by CNN, he said he didn’t want to “overpromise.” However, he believes that “by next Christmas, I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today.”
At another point during the discussion, he predicted that we’ll be “significantly better off than we are today” by the time the next school year starts in September, the New York Times reported.
Increased vaccine output
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has gotten off to a slower-than-ideal start. As of Tuesday morning, only around 12 percent of the U.S. population had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and just 4 percent had received both shots. But the pace is starting to pick up due to several developments.
The Biden administration has been working with Pfizer to provide it with more manufacturing supplies through the Defense Production Act. Last week, the White House announced that both Pfizer and Moderna would be able to deliver a total of 400 million doses by the end of May, which is ahead of schedule.
The administration said Tuesday that states will soon begin receiving 13.5 million doses each week, which is two million more than they were previously receiving. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, predicted Tuesday that “mid-to-late May and early June” would see an uptick in the number of vaccines administered.
Combating new variants
The increases in vaccine supply come as scientists continue to track more contagious variants of the virus, such as the B.1.1.7 strain. Dr. Fauci has said that the most effective way to stop new variants from becoming more dominant is to continue following safety precautions and to plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"The only way a virus mutates (is) if it can replicate. So if you vaccinate people and double down on public health measures and keep the level of viral dynamics low we will not have an easy evolution into mutations," Fauci said earlier this month. "That's something that people really need to understand. The way you stop those mutations: Get vaccinated and abide by the public health measures.”
He’s also said that at least 70 percent of Americans will need to be vaccinated in order for life to return to “normal.”