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“This is enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 [million] Americans by end of the summer, beginning of the fall,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday when making the announcement.
Already the federal government received a commitment of 400 million doses between Pfizer and Moderna. The additional purchase from the two companies, which the country will receive by the summer, would bring the federal governments total stockpile to 600 million doses. Since each vaccine requires two doses, that means 300 million Americans could potentially access the jab by the fall.
“By the end of the summer, I hope that you have too much vaccine left over, that you have too much equipment left over … I hope that becomes the problem,” Mr Biden added.
A mass vaccination campaign was underway in the United States in an effort to respond to the global pandemic. But one point of issue since the beginning was how quickly the country could manufacture, distribute, and administer the vaccines.
The federal government has distributed more than 44.3 million Covid-19 vaccines to states, but only 23.5 vaccines have been administered, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means about 50 per cent of the vaccines currently available are not being used.
Why about half of the vaccines remain unused was unclear, but some vaccination sites across the US were reportedly holding onto portions of their supply so people could receive their second doses.
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