Covid: Biden promises vaccines for all US adults by end of May

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The US will have enough coronavirus vaccines for every adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden has said.

This will be two months earlier than previously expected, but Mr Biden said the vaccination drive must be extended, too, and people convinced to take it.

And he warned people to “stay vigilant” because “this fight is far from over”, with new variants a major concern.

His caution is at odds with some states, which are relaxing restrictions in order to boost their economies.

Mr Biden’s new timeline does not mean all adults in the US will be vaccinated by the end of May, as the jabs will take longer to administer.

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Although there has been a sharp fall in confirmed cases since the start of the year – the figure of 68,000 a day now is well down on the 8 January peak of 300,000 – that drop has levelled off over the past week, fuelling fears of another wave.

More than 76 million vaccination doses have been administered – covering 15.3% of the population and the US remains on track to meet Mr Biden’s pledge of delivering 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.

What was in Mr Biden’s latest announcement?

The President said that drug manufacturer Merck – which this year discontinued work on its own vaccine – would now be helping Johnson & Johnson to produce its newly approved one-shot drug.

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“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” he said, adding it was “the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War Two”.

But the President acknowledged that supply was only one issue, with the nation needing to extend its vaccination drive and convince people to take the shots.

“We need vaccinators, people who put the shots in people’s arms, millions of Americans’ arms,” he said.

“Great news, but stay vigilant,” Mr Biden said. “It’s not over yet.”

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