Biden plans accelerated release of COVID-19 vaccine

BIDEN: “Vaccines give us hope, but the rollout has been a travesty”

President-elect Joe Biden wants to release more available doses of coronavirus vaccines when he takes office, according to a spokesman, as the United States capped the first week of the new year with grim pandemic numbers.

BIDEN: “We've had 4000 deaths, 4000 deaths yesterday, and things continue to rise, to escalate. That's my number one concern, to get the virus under control. // I'm committed. To get 100 million shots in people's arms in the first 100 days.”

The U.S. vaccine rollout has begun slowly as hospitals have not been able to administer the shots as quickly as they received them.

The monumental effort has fallen far short of the goal of getting 20 million people vaccinated that the Trump Administration had vowed to reach by the end of 2020.

J Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden's transition, told Reuters QUOTE:

"The President-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible."

The announcement marked a departure from the Trump administration’s strategy of holding back a supply to ensure required second doses of the vaccines are available.

Manufacturing would have to be consistent enough to supply those second doses on schedule - three or four weeks after the first.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Thursday, roughly 6 million people across the United States had received a first injection of the vaccines - less than one-third of more than 21 million doses shipped to date.

The pandemic showed no sign of abating this week, claiming the lives of more than 4,000 people across the country for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

This, as the White House coronavirus task force said there could be a new variant of the virus that evolved in the United States and is driving spread, according to reports by CNBC.

The United States has recorded over 365,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Vaccines give us hope, but the rollout has been a travesty.

- President-elect Joe Biden wants to release more available doses of coronavirus vaccines when he takes office, according to a spokesman, as the United States capped the first week of the new year with grim pandemic numbers.

JOE BIDEN: We've had 4,000 deaths, 4,000 deaths yesterday. And things continue to rise, to escalate. That's my number one concern-- to get the virus under control. I'm committed to get 100 million shots in people's arms in the first 100 days.

- The US vaccine rollout has begun slowly, as hospitals have not been able to administer the shots as quickly as they receive them. The monumental effort has fallen far short of the goal of getting 20 million people vaccinated that the Trump administration had vowed to reach by the end of 2020. J. Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden's transition, told Reuters, quote, "The president-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure that Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible."

The announcement marked a departure from the Trump administration strategy of holding back a supply to ensure required second doses of the vaccines are available. Manufacturing would have to be consistent enough to supply those second doses on schedule, three or four weeks after the first. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Thursday, roughly 6 million people across the United States had received the first injection of the vaccines, less than one third of the more than 21 million doses shipped to date.

The pandemic showed no signs of abating this week, claiming the lives of more than 4,000 people across the country for the second consecutive day on Thursday. This as the White House coronavirus task force said there could be a new variant of the virus that evolved in the United States and is driving spread, according to reports by CNBC. The United States has recorded over 365,000 deaths since the pandemic began.