In his first prime-time address to the nation on Thursday since assuming office in January, Biden also announced the deployment of more than 4,000 active-duty troops to support vaccination efforts, bringing the total to over 6,000.
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Biden said his administration has been working with vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson to manufacture and purchase hundreds of millions of doses of these three safe, effective vaccines. And now at the direction and with the assistance of his administration, Johnson & Johnson is working together with a competitor, Merck, to speed up and increase the capacity to manufacture new Johnson & Johnson vaccines which is one shot, he said.
“Tonight, I can say we’re not only going to meet that goal. We’re going to beat that goal because we’ve actually been on track to reach this goal of 100 million shots in arms on my 60th day in office. No other country in the world has done this. None,” he asserted.
Announcing the next steps, he said that he is directing all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults, people 18 and over, eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1. “Let me say that again. All adult Americans will be eligible to get a vaccine no later than May 1. That’s much earlier than expected,” he said.
“On July 4th with your loved ones is the goal. But a goal—a lot can happen. Conditions can change. The scientists have made clear that things may get worse again as new variants of the virus spread. We’ve got work to do to ensure that everyone has confidence and the safety and effectiveness of all three vaccines,” he said urging Americans to listen to scientists and doctors.