President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that the US will have “enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” pushing up his administration’s target date by two months.
Biden originally said there would be enough vaccine supply on-hand to inoculate the entire adult population by the end of July.
“Through partnership with vaccine manufacturers and our efforts to ramp up its production, we will now have enough vaccine supply by the end of May,” a statement by the administration said.
The President also announced that he is directing states to prioritize teachers, school staff and child care workers to receive at least one vaccine dose by the end of March.
“Let’s treat in-person learning like the essential service that it is,” Biden said.
The change for the Biden Administration and their assessment of the current vaccine stockpile is they’re now able to count Johnson & Johnson doses. The FDA provided emergency use authorization to the manufacturer’s supply, whereas they weren’t able to count them before.
Johnson & Johnson announced they will partner with Merck to expand the production of vaccines. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says J&J will now deliver “at or near” 100 million doses by the end of May, compared to the previous case, which was 100 million doses by the end of June.
The single-shot J&J vaccine is 62% effective compared to Pfizer’s two-dose variety, which is noted to be 95% effective. However, a single dose of either rivals each other in effectiveness, according to a study of both vaccines.