US President Joe Biden is set to announce on Wednesday the country will reach his goal of getting 200 million coronavirus vaccine shots administered less than a week before the president marks 100 days in office, a White House official said.
The goal is being achieved more than a week before Biden hits his 100th day in office as his administration accelerates vaccination programs amid a surge of new infections.
His original goal was to have 100 million shots in arms by his 100th day, but that was easily surpassed.
“In today’s remarks, the president will note that the United States will reach over 200 million shots this week,” the official said.
While the United States leads the world in Covid-19 deaths, it has also raced ahead in the vaccination stakes, outperforming some major European countries and neighboring Canada.
Biden came into office on January 20 initially vowing to get 100 million shots administered in his first 100 days. On March 25, with vaccination deliveries far ahead of their targets, he doubled the goal.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal,” Biden said. “But no other country in the world has even come close — not even close — to what we are doing.”
Starting in May, all states will be required to lift restrictions on eligibility for access to the free shots. Many have already done that.
Dampening the celebratory mood in the White House is a surge of infection rates in parts of the country, including Michigan.
Death rates, however, remain down nationwide as a result of the high vaccination rate among the elderly and improved care.