WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The Biden administration ordered 200 million more coronavirus vaccines and will funnel more doses to states now, in a bid to deliver on the U.S. president’s promise to curb the pandemic, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday.
“We’ll soon be able to confirm the purchase of the additional 100 million doses for each of the two FDA authorized vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna,” Biden said. “200 million more doses than the federal government had previously secured, not in hand yet, but ordered. We expect these additional 200 million doses to be delivered this summer. And some of it will come as early as early summer, but by mid-summer, this vaccine will be there.”
Biden said the move will increase the total vaccine order in the United States by “50%, from 400 million ordered to 600 million ordered.” He claimed it would be enough doses to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans against the coronavirus.
Biden, who took office last week, is in a race to contain the virus as faster-spreading variants threaten to increase the death toll across the United States, which has already been hard-hit.
The administration is briefing state governors on Tuesday about its plans to increase the amount of the vaccine going to those local governments to 10 million doses per week for the next three weeks, up from 8.6 million currently.
“We will both increase the supply in the short term by more than 15% and give our states and local partners more certainty about when deliveries will arrive,” Biden said.
The administration also promised to provide notice to the states three weeks in advance of how much vaccine they would be getting in the future.
“We’re increasing the transparency with states, cities and tribes, and local partners, when it comes to the vaccine supply. This is something we’ve heard over and over again from Republicans and Democrats, from state and local leaders, they need a plan, they need to know what the order is going to be,” Biden said. “Until now, we’ve had to guess how much vaccine to expect for the next week, and that’s what the governors have had to do. From this week forward, God willing, we will ensure that states, tribes and territories always have a reliable three week forecast of the supply they’re going to get.”
Biden spoke from the State Dining Room in the White House Tuesday as the United States has surpassed 25 million cases and 421,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Biden has repeatedly said getting the spread of the virus under control is his administration’s top priority and pledged 100 million vaccine shots in the arms of Americans in his first 100 days in office. That goal may increase to 150 million.
“If we wear masks between now and the end of April, the experts tell us we may be able to save 50,000 lives,” Biden said on Tuesday.
Biden also said Tuesday he believes anyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by this spring.
“I think it will be this spring,” he said. “But it’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country.”
He said he feels “confident” that by summer, “we’ll be on our way toward heading toward herd immunity and increasing access for people who aren’t first on the list, all the way going down to children.”
Reuters contributed to this report.