US Finally Hits Stride With COVID Vaccine Rollouts

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The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered in the United States is currently more than 3 million a day.

“We knew that we needed to get to 3 million a day at some point, if we were going to get most people vaccinated this year, but I don’t think that most people expected it to happen this early,” said Eric Toner, MD, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.

Before taking office, President Joe Biden pledged to get 100 million shots in arms within his first 100 days in office. After hitting that goal in late March, he doubled it, to 200 million vaccinations by April 30. After first saying all adults should be eligible to get in line for the vaccine by May 1, on Tuesday, he bumped up that date to April 19.

Some media reports have seen this repeated moving of the goalposts as calculated — an unstated strategy of underpromising and overdelivering with the aim of rebuilding public trust.

But others point out that even if that’s true, the goals being set aren’t easy, and hitting them has never been a given.

“I think the Biden administration really gets a lot of credit for pushing the companies to get more vaccine out faster than they had planned to,” Toner said. “And the states have really responded as well as the federal government in terms of getting vaccination sites going. So we’re not only getting the vaccines, we’re getting it into people’s arms faster than expected.”

Others agree.

“We’re doing an amazing job, and I think the US is really beginning to bend the curve,” said Carlos del Rio, MD, an infectious disease specialist and distinguished professor of medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I think overall it’s just that everybody’s putting in a ton of work to get it done,” he said.

On Saturday, the day the United States hit its vaccination record, he was volunteering to give vaccinations.

“I mean, of all the bad things we do to people as clinicians, this is one thing that people are very happy about, right?” del Rio said.

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