On March 2, President Joe Biden made a statement announcing that there will be enough vaccines for every adult in America by the end of May. This is a two month acceleration from his previous claim of having the vaccines available by July.
Biden has prioritized vaccines for teachers in order to safely allow students to return to classrooms as soon as possible. Biden hopes to make good on his promise to reopen schools by the end of the first 100 days of his presidency on April 30th. There is an ongoing debate about whether or not students and teachers should return to in-person learning, but Biden sees it as necessary since adolescents are less prone to harmful effects of the coronavirus. Additionally, mental health has been a huge problem for students during virtual learning and having the opportunity to go back to school will change the well being of many students.
“As yet another move to help accelerate the safe reopening of schools, let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, child care workers — get them vaccinated immediately. They’re essential workers,” the President said.
The CDC states that teachers as well as frontline essential workers and people ages 75 and older have top priority in receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. As of this week, about 10% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. President Biden wants 1.5 million people to be vaccinated each day to increase the nation’s percentage.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the majority of Americans will receive their first dose by May 31, but Biden says that the vaccinations have become a more accelerated process than he expected. Vaccine distributors know the urgency of efficiently distributing the vaccine and are being vigilant with the spread of the coronavirus.
Currently, there are three vaccines that are being distributed to prevent Covid-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen. The Biden Administration is focusing on distributing more Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the White House is utilizing the Defense Production Act to speed up the sluggish distribution of the J&J vaccines. At the press briefing at the White House, Biden says that pharmaceutical giant Merck will be working with Johnson and Johnson to create a one-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
Ending the pandemic has been Biden’s top priority. He urges people to continue to wear masks and follow state protocols. He knows that beating the virus will eventually happen but speeding up the process for things to go back to normal only happens if everyone works together to stop the spread of the virus.