White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday that the Biden administration will increase the number of coronavirus vaccines shipped to states.
Psaki also announced the number of vaccines going to retail pharmacies will double. The administration was sending out 11 million vaccine doses and that will now jump to 13.5 million. According to the White House, the number of vaccines shipped weekly has increased 57% since Biden took office.
Psaki also said the number of doses that are shipped to retail pharmacies across the country will double. Two million doses per week will now be shipped to pharmacies per week. Last week 6,500 pharmacies received a vaccine shipment. That number will also increase weekly.
“This program will expand access in neighborhoods across the country so that people can call and make an appointment and get their shot conveniently and quickly,” Psaski said. “This is a critical, critical part of our plan.”
After a slow initial rollout managed by former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration has increased the number of vaccine shipments gradually for weeks. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 52 million doses have been administered as of last week out of 70 million doses delivered to states.
The U.S. now has more than 600 million doses of the vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the increase will help ramp up the number of doses available and by May, any American who wants a dose should be able to receive it.
“It may take until June, July, and August to finally get everybody vaccinated,” Fauci told CNN. “So when you hear about how long it’s going to take to get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, I don’t think anybody disagrees that that’s going to be well to the end of the summer and we get into the early fall.”
The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 28 million Americans and killed almost half a million. However, things are beginning to improve as the number of vaccines increase and the number of infections in the U.S. begins to trend downward.