President Joe Biden has grown more bullish on vaccine distribution in the U.S., after he and his aides faced criticism for their caution in setting vaccination targets for the virus-weary country.
Biden told reporters Monday that he believes 150 million shots in arms may be achievable in his first 100 days in office, which is up from 100 million doses per day. Biden said he expects widespread availability of the vaccines in the U.S. for Americans by spring, with the United States “well on our way to herd immunity” by summer, the president said.
As Axios reports, the Biden administration would be looking at getting 1 million vaccinations a day administered within the next three weeks. The president said Monday that he believes that any American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine could be able to expect to receive one by spring.
Rochelle Walensky, the newly appointed director for the Centers for Disease Control said Sunday that the Biden White House doesn't currently know how many COVID-19 vaccines are available, citing a lack of data gathering under former President Trump, Axios reported.
The lack of data has been attributed to issues states have had in planning for vaccine distribution.
Biden's comments came after his team held a call Sunday to outline the stimulus plan with at least a dozen senators, while President Biden has also privately talked with lawmakers.
“There's an urgency to moving it forward, and he certainly believes there has to be progress in the next couple of weeks,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Psaki warned that action needed to also be taken before the U.S. reaches an “unemployment cliff” in March, when long-term unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.