Biden Outlines New COVID-19 Vaccination Goal, Modifies Vaccine Allocation Process
U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on Tuesday announced a new federal COVID-19 vaccination goal necessary to reaching more Americans and more fully reopening the country’s economy. The Biden-Harris Administration now aims to reach 70 percent of U.S. adults with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 160 million Americans with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine by July 4, 2021. The new goal amounts to another 100 million vaccine doses over the next two months.
Relatedly, the White House this week announced that it will be storing untapped vaccine into a federal bank available to states seeking additional COVID-19 vaccine supply. Those states will be permitted to order up to 50 percent above their weekly allocation, while states declining their complete allotment during a single week will have access to their entire share the following week. The move by the Biden-Harris Administration to allow for additional allocation flexibilities comes as demand for COVID-19 vaccines has dropped sharply throughout the country over the last weeks.
Further, the Biden-Harris Administration this week signaled its support for waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Experts suggest waiving intellectual property protections for the vaccines will increase supply of vaccines, particularly among low-income and developing nations, necessary to bring the pandemic under control. The Administration will soon engage in negotiations on waivers with the World Trade Organization.