US to hit 100 million vaccine target on Friday, says Joe Biden

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The World Health Organization on Thursday issued a report that fewer than 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Africa thus far.

Biden said current data reflects that 65% of people ages 65 and older in the USA have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 36% of this population are fully vaccinated. In the final days of then-President Donald Trump's administration, almost 1 million shots were being administered per day, the daily average Biden needed to hit in order to meet his goal.

"We've got to reach the point where we have herd immunity, meaning when where we have had a vast majority of the American people have been vaccinated before we can stop wearing these", he said.

"This is a time for optimism, but not a time for relaxation", he said.

While the country's national daily case average continues to fall, almost a third of all states have seen their average number of cases rise at least 10% over the last month.

The president has moved to speed up deliveries of vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as well as to expand the number of places to get shots and people who can administer them, with a focus on increasing the nation's capacity to inject doses as supply constraints lift. "Now is not the time to let down our guard". Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants.

More than 530,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the United States.

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PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccinations from the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2021.

From his first days in office, Biden has set clear - and achievable - metrics for success, whether it be vaccinations or school reopenings, as part of a deliberate strategy of underpromising, then overdelivering.

During his first prime-time address this month, Biden announced a number of efforts to help increase vaccinations, including directing all states to open vaccine eligibility to all USA adults by May 1, with the country on track to secure enough doses to vaccinate all adults by the end of May.

"I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn, when you're able to do that". I need you to help.

Although top GOP leaders, including Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Kevin McCarthy were vaccinated in December 2020 and have encouraged the public to do the same, a number of high-profile rank-and-file members say they intend to ignore the advice.

Biden was criticized by some for setting the bar too low with his target of 100 million shots, with health officials and experts saying that was well within reach.

"I didn't banish him to home", Biden said. "We're going to beat this".

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