President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening announced the federal government will purchase 200 million more vaccine doses in a bid to curb the CCP virus pandemic.
“We now have a national strategy to beat COVID-19. It’s comprehensive. It’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial, and it is detailed,” Biden said.
“We’re gonna do everything we can to get it done, but a lot of things can go wrong along the way,” Biden told reporters Tuesday, noting that the United States would have enough to vaccinate about 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or “beginning of the fall.”
The president’s remarks came as the U.S. death toll from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus rose above 420,000, according to federal figures.
Under President Donald Trump, the federal government had already agreed to buy 200 million doses from Pfizer and 200 million from Moderna, both delivered by July.
Because each vaccine requires two shots, those 400 million doses already purchased from Pfizer and Moderna would be enough to vaccinate about 200 million U.S. adults. But tens of millions more people will need to be immunized to reach “herd immunity.”
Pfizer is authorized in people as young as 16, whereas Moderna is for people over 18 years old.
At least 41 million vaccines have been distributed so far in the United States, nearly half of which have yet to be administered, according to data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Moderna and Pfizer have both stated that their vaccines are effective against the new strain of the virus identified last year in the UK, which is believed to spread more rapidly than the original variant and has been found in at least 12 U.S. states.
Separately, Moderna said its vaccine is effective against the variant of the virus discovered recently in South Africa, which is also believed to be more contagious than the original variant that is said to have originated in Wuhan, China, in 2019.
A day before, Biden’s administration re-imposed a ban on most non-U.S. citizens entering the country from the UK, most other European countries, and Brazil, according to press secretary Jen Psaki.
The move is designed to “reduce the spread of COVID-19 through travel, especially as we see faster-spreading variants emerging across the world,” said Psaki on Monday and who noted that South Africa will be added to the list of countries under the travel ban.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.