Biden announces plan to vaccinate 100 million Americans
(Sourced from PTI)
US President-elect Joe Biden has announced an ambitious goal of inoculating 100 million Americans with COVID-19 vaccines in the first 100 days of his administration, noting that the vaccine roll-out in the country has been a "dismal failure." Biden on Friday held a briefing with his team on addressing the major health crisis that has engulfed the nation for nearly a year now.
Biden said, "In today's briefing we discussed five things we will do in an attempt to turn things around, five things to turn frustration into motivation, five things to help us meet our goal of 100 million shots by the end of our first 100 days in office." "First, we'll immediately work with states to open up vaccinations to more priority groups," he added.
Further, Biden said that his administration will encourage the states to allow more people to get vaccinated beyond healthcare workers and move through those groups as quickly as they think they can. "That includes anyone 65 years or older, a population that has accounted for over 80 percent of the deaths to date," he added.
Biden said, "We also have to continue vaccinating frontline essential workers like educators, first responders, grocery store workers, etc." He asserted, "It won't mean that everyone in this group will get vaccinated immediately as the supply is not where it needs to be...But as it becomes available, it will reach more people who need these vaccines."
"More vaccination sites would be added. On my first day in office, I will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to set-up the first of these centers. By the end of our first month in office, we will have 100 federally supported centers," Biden said.
Biden said, "Within the first month, the administration is going to deploy mobile clinics moving from community to community that will partner with community health centers and local primary care doctors to offer vaccines to hard-hit and hard-to-reach communities in cities, small towns, and in rural communities." "To staff up these centers, the US will mobilize thousands of clinical and non-clinical professionals," he added.
Biden said, "The third change we are going to make is we are going to fully activate the pharmacies across the country to get the vaccination to more arms as quickly as possible." "We are going to immediately start a new major effort working directly with both independent and chain pharmacies to get Americans vaccinated," he added.
Biden said, "This program will expand beyond access in neighborhoods across the country so that people can make an appointment and get the shot, conveniently show up at a particular time and get it done quickly."
Biden said that his administration is going to use the full strength of the federal government to ramp up the supply of the vaccines. He added that he will use the Defense Production Act to work with the private industry to accelerate the making of materials needed to supply and administer the vaccine, from tubes and syringes to protective equipment.
He said that his administration will always be "honest and transparent about where we stand, both the good news as well as the bad." "We're going to make sure state and local officials know how much supply they'll be getting and when they can expect to get it so they can plan," he added.
During his election campaign, Biden had made tackling COVID-19 and the economic hardships it had put on Americans a core pitch to voters. He alleged that the outgoing Trump administration's policy of holding back close to half the supply of available vaccines didn't make sense.