Joe Biden pledges 200 million Covid vaccinations by end of 100th day in office

25 March 2021, 18:08 | Updated: 25 March 2021, 18:11

President Biden pledged to administer 200 million COVID vaccination doses by the end of his first 100 days in office
President Biden pledged to administer 200 million COVID vaccination doses by the end of his first 100 days in office. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

President Joe Biden has pledged to have 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered by the end of his first 100 days in office.

That is double the goal he set in December and reached earlier this month before his 60th day in office.

Mr Biden announced the new goal on Thursday at the start of his first formal news conference since his term began on January 20.

Mr Biden's goal seems ambitious, but it actually amounts to a continuation of the country's existing pace of vaccinations through the end of month.

Announcing the policy at his first press conference since taking office on Thursday, Biden said: "We will by my 100th day in office have administered 200m shots in people’s arms.

"I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close to what we’re doing, and I think we’re going to hit it."

This was Biden's first formal news conference since his term began on January 20
This was Biden's first formal news conference since his term began on January 20. Picture: PA

Biden hit his original goal of 100 million jabs last week on his 58th day in office, 42 days early.

The US is now averaging about 2.5 million doses per day.

A rate even greater than that is possible.

Over the next month, two of the bottlenecks to getting Americans vaccinated are set to be lifted.

The US supply of vaccines is on track to increase and states are lifting eligibility requirements for people to get the jabs.

"I believe we can do it," Mr Biden told reporters at the White House.

"There are still too many Americans out of work, too many families hurting and still a lot of work to do.

"But I can say to the American people: Help is here and hope is on the way."

The president has invoked the Defense Production Act to order private companies to help produce Covid vaccines.

The US has so-far approved three vaccines for emergency use, from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, with supplies of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine set to dramatically increase in the coming weeks.

The British and Swedish made AstraZeneca should also be approved in the coming days.

The US has now recorded more than 30 million Covid cases, and more than 545,000 deaths.