Pfizer CEO Backs Biden’s Plan for 100 Million Doses in 100 Days
Will there be enough doses of the two authorized mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to meet the lofty goal of 100 million inoculations within 100 days of the start of Joe Biden’s presidential administration? Pfizer’s chief executive officer believes that goal is something that can be achieved.
On Friday, one day after Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus-focused plan that is intended to boost vaccination efforts and address the pandemic in other ways, Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said his company supports the Biden initiative and looks forward to working with the new administration to meet that 100 million dose goal.
“This comprehensive federal plan utilizes as many doses as possible, opens up eligibility to a broader set of Americans, and ensures equity by focusing on the hardest-hit communities. We are particularly aligned with the ideas of federally assisted vaccination centers, financial support to the states, mobile clinics to reach underserved urban areas and rural communities, vaccine availability in pharmacies and qualified health centers and an expanded public health workforce,” Bourla said in a statement.
Over the past week, there have been multiple stories about thousands of people lining up to receive their first doses of the vaccine, only to be told the site administering the medication only has a few hundred to dole out. Supply chain issues are becoming more and more common as more people in the U.S. become eligible for doses. On Sunday, Rochelle Walensky, Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted the shortage issues, but told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that she is confident there will be enough available supply to meet that 100 million goal.
“It will be a hefty lift, but we have enough to do that,” Walensky said, according to a CNBC report.
Biden’s stimulus proposal would use $20 billion to support increased vaccination efforts and $50 billion to expand testing. Biden also intends to use some of the federal funds to create new community vaccination centers, and also launch mobile vaccination clinics in hopes of reaching more rural populations.
“Our plan is as clear as it is bold: Get more people vaccinated for free. Create more places for them to get vaccinated. Mobilize more medical teams to get the shots in people’s arms. Increase supply and get it out the door as soon as possible,” Biden said Friday, according to CNN.
Not only is he aiming to ramp up vaccine production, but Biden proposed using the Defense Production Act to bolster the supply of other medical necessities like syringes. Biden was also confident that under his administration, the 100 million doses goal is achievable.
“This is a time to set big goals to pursue them with courage and conviction, because the health of the nation is literally at stake,” Biden said.
The outgoing Trump administration had a goal of administering 20 million doses by the end of 2020, but they fell woefully short. Vaccinations have picked up somewhat. According to the CDC, there have now been about 31 million people who have received the first of their two-dose shots.
Anthony Fauci, who will serve the Biden administration as a health adviser, also expressed confidence in meeting that 100 million doses plan. During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci said goal can be achieved and touted the use of the Defense Production Act. Using the act means the U.S. won’t hesitate to use whatever means is necessary to meet the public health crisis.
“One thing that’s clear is that the issue of getting 100 million doses in the first 100 days is absolutely a doable thing. There’s no doubt about that… it can be done,” Fauci said.