The U.S. will have enough COVID-19 vaccines by the end of May to vaccinate every American, President Biden said on Tuesday.
“Three weeks ago, I announced we would have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of July,” Biden tweeted. “Now, with our efforts to ramp up production, we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May.”
He also called on states to prioritize the vaccinations of educators and child-care workers so that they received their first shot by the end of March.
“We want every educator, school staff member, and child-care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of this month. It’s time to treat in-person learning like the essential service that it is,” Biden wrote in another tweet.
The president’s announcement comes shortly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of a third, single-shot vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. Biden also said he will invoke the Defense Production Act to help the pharmaceutical company Merck manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
“I’ve always said this is a wartime effort, and every action has been on the table, including putting together breakthrough approaches,” Biden said, adding that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine manufacturing facilities would be operating “24/7.”
The national efforts to ramp up vaccinations, especially for educators, also coincides with California’s move to accelerate the reopening of in-person learning at schools.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal with legislators on Monday that would use $2 billion in grants to incentivize schools to reopen for in-person learning by April 1, with specifics depending on the color-coded tier that the school district is located in.