U.S. COULD PRODUCE 1B VACCINE DOSES BY YEAREND
President Joe Biden said Friday that the US could produce up to 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by as early as the end of the year, Mario Parker and Jordan Fabian reported for Bloomberg News.
The “hope and expectation” is for the remainder of 2021, the US will “be able to vaccinate every American,” Biden said after a day of meetings and ceremonies at the White House with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
South Korea has been eager to secure supplies of vaccines that the U.S. has recently allowed to be exported. More than 5 million doses of vaccine have been administered in South Korea, covering about 5% of the population, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
At the current rate of vaccination, it would take a projected 2.5 years to cover 75% of the population with a two-dose vaccine. Vaccinations started about 11 weeks ago in the country.
Biden said he and Moon discussed the possibility of a US vaccine producer partnering with South Korea, which “with the help of that particular company will be able to make significant numbers of vaccines for themselves.”
Earlier on Friday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said “American manufacturers are working closely with the Biden administration to get COVID vaccines to Korea.” The White House announced this week that it planned to escalate global exports of vaccines by the end of June.