The Trump administration aimed to vaccinate 20 million Americans against Covid-19 by the end of 2020 but fell short of that goal even at the end of the term. Now, President Biden’s promise to administer 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office will be put to the test. More than 17.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the first Pfizer/BioNTech shot was administered on December 14, according to the latest data from the CDC, for an average pace of about 462,000 shots per day.
While significantly behind early promises overall, the pace of vaccination has steadily improved over the past five weeks. The number of doses administered in the last seven days was more than 10 times that of the first seven days of vaccine administration in the United States. And with additional vaccines in the works, as well as commitments from the new Biden administration and current manufacturers, it could continue to improve.In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s likely that vaccine administration will meet — and perhaps even outpace — President Biden’s plan.”I feel fairly confident that that’s going to be not only that but maybe even better,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Good Morning America on Thursday.In any case, the US is still many months away from vaccinating enough people to end the pandemic.
Timelines to watch
The two vaccines currently authorized for emergency use in the US — those made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna — both require that an individual receive two doses to be fully vaccinated. Another vaccine in development from Johnson & Johnson would require only a single dose.
If Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines remain the only ones on the market, about 500 million total doses must be administered before all adults in the US are fully vaccinated — two for each of the 250 million or so adults who live in the US. Currently, none of the current coronavirus vaccines are authorized for people younger than 16.In the past seven days, about 914,000 doses have been administered daily. If vaccination continues at this same rate, every adult in the US could be fully vaccinated by summer 2022, according to a CNN analysis.If vaccination picks up to 1 million shots per day, in line with Biden’s promise, that timeline could bump up to spring 2022.To fully vaccinate all adults in the US by the end of the year, the pace would have to increase to about 1.3 million doses administered per day.