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Watch live: Biden touts 300 million vaccinations in 150 days

Escrito por el junio 18, 2021

President Joe Biden is offering an update Friday on how many COVID-19 shots have been administered: according to the White House, that number is about 300 million in the 150 days Mr. Biden has been president.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie© Evan Vucci / AP Biden

«We’re heading into a very different summer than last year,» he said, after he noted that the U.S. has reached the 300 million shots benchmark «months ahead of what most anyone thought was possible when we started.»

His self-imposed July 4 deadline for 70% of American adults to have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine is approaching soon. In order to hit that target, as of Thursday, the U.S. would have to be giving roughly 717,000 first doses per day. At this point, approximately 347,000 doses per day are being administered, and not all of the people receiving them are adults.

The Biden administration says that over 175 million Americans have gotten their first shot — 65% of all adult Americans. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday that 87% of seniors have received their first shots, as well as 74% of adults who are 40 years of age and older. Asked about whether the White House would reach its 70% goal by Independence Day, Zients was confident that the threshold would be reached this summer, though he was vague about the date.

«We are going to get to 70%,» he said. «And we’re going to continue across the summer months to push beyond 70%.»

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a commitment of $3.2 billion to developing antiviral pills to treat COVID-19. At the briefing Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that while vaccines are still «the centerpiece of our arsenal» in fighting the disease, antivirals would complement them. He explained that those who are more vulnerable, like those who are immunosuppressed and may not receive as much protection from vaccines, could be helped by antivirals that treat COVID-19.

And antivirals, Fauci said, would also provide «a line of defense against other unexpected emerging things, like variants of concern that we are currently dealing with.» The funding will be used both to accelerate clinical testing of promising drugs that are already being developed and to discover new medications.


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