Biden announced that Merck & Co Inc will help make rival Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine in a partnership that he said was similar to those seen during World War Two. With three vaccines now available, Biden said he was confident the country would reach his goal of delivering 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 100 days.
He also ordered U.S. states to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers to ensure children could return to school quickly and safely, and called for every educator to receive at least one shot by the end of March.
JOE BIDEN: And I want to thank Johnson & Johnson and Merck for stepping up and being good corporate citizens during this national crisis. Here's what all this means. We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. Let me say that again. When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America.
We rectified that. About three weeks ago, we were able to say that we'll have enough vaccine supply for adults by the end of July. I'm pleased to announce today, as a consequence of the stepped-up process that I've ordered and just outlined, this country will have enough vaccine supply-- I'll say it again-- for every adult in America by the end of May, by the end of May. That's progress.
As you know, back in December, I set a goal for having a majority of our K through 8 schools open by the end of my first 100 days as president. My challenge to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia is this. We want every educator, school staff member, child care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.
To help make this happen, starting next week and for the month of March, we'll be using our federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K through 12 educators and staff and child care workers. Throughout March, they will be able to sign up for an appointment at a pharmacy near them. I want to be very clear. Not every educator will be able to get their appointment in the first week. But our goal is to do everything we can to help every educator receive a shot this month, the month of March.