The White House provided some clarity on the vaccine supply needed to meet the goal of having enough vaccines for all 300 million American adults by the end of May.
There will be 200 million doses each of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, per the White House, but they expect an increase in Johnson & Johnson vaccine availability due to its partnership with Merck.
That additional amount, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients said, “Is the figure that Johnson & Johnson has talked about in terms of their cumulative doses by the end of this month.”
“The work that we did, working with Johnson & Johnson and Merck to accelerate their manufacturing process, particularly the fill-finish piece, which is relevant in this timeframe, has it so that Johnson & Johnson is now, delivering at or near its 100 million by the end of May," Zients explained.
He continued, “So if you take the 200 million doses by the end of May of Moderna, plus the 200 million doses of Pfizer, plus the at or near 100 million completions of the Johnson & Johnson first contract, that is more than enough vaccine supplies to vaccinate all adult Americans by the end of May,” adding that the next step is to ramp up vaccinators and vaccination sites to accelerate the process.
The US adult population is approximately 255 million people, according to Census data. The US will have enough vaccine supply to fully vaccinated 300 million people by the end of May, according to the Biden administration and projections provided by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky declined to provide a number for how many Americans the administration would like to see vaccinated when Americans begin to gather again around the Fourth of July, as President Biden outlined in his address Friday.
Walensky instead suggested it will be dependent on the conditions of the pandemic at the time.
“Maybe I'll just address the second, the first question and that is, we're not looking at a single metric of a fraction of people vaccinated in a vacuum. We're looking at it in the context of what's going on with the pandemic as well, so I don't think we can put a single metric on that, as well as what's happening in what science has emerged with regard to vaccinated people, so it's hard to put a metric on a single number,” Walensky said.