The United States is on track to have a large enough vaccine supply for every adult who wants to be inoculated from COVID-19 to be able to get the shot by the end of May, after a rapid ramp-up in production and the approval of a third effective vaccine.
“My hope is by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal—before that,” Biden told reporters Tuesday. “It depends upon people continue to be smart and understand that we still have significant losses.”
More than 511,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19. Biden keeps a daily tally tucked inside his jacket pocket each day.
More than half a million Americans already have received at least one dose of two available vaccines that require two shots.
The Biden administration announced this week that pharmaceutical giant Merck will begin manufacturing the newly-approved, one-shot vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson through a unique partnership. That’s helped propel the projections from vaccinations for most Americans by the end of July to the new May timeline.
“That’s progress—important progress, but it’s not enough to have the vaccine supply,” Biden cautioned.
He said the federal government also is working to build up mass vaccination centers and on other efforts to get more shots into people’s arms.
This story will be updated.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the government’s pandemic response, including the recently announced partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to produce more Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at the White House on March 2. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty