In early December, President Joe Biden made a promise. He announced that he would be able to provide 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in his first 100 days in office.
President Biden made it clear that he doesn’t mean 100 million people will be vaccinated by April 30th, but rather 100 million shots will be administered. During a January 26th press briefing, Biden said that his 100 million shots “means somewhere between 60—maybe less, maybe more—million people” will receive one dose of the vaccine. This number is below the prevailing herd immunity threshold that is recommended by experts. Herd immunity is achieved when enough people become immune to a disease that it would be very unlikely to spread. At least 70% of the population must be protected in order to achieve herd immunity. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently stated that this figure could increase to 90% of the population.
As of right now, the U.S. has only distributed the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. This means that we would need 462 million doses to vaccinate enough people to reach that 70% goal. If 1 million doses are given out per day, the vaccination process would take much more than 100 days. All vaccines being administered by 2022 would be the ultimate goal.
Additionally, it’s going to be very difficult to distribute these vaccinations, as rural community members or people of color may have trouble accessing them.
There’s a chance that life will go back to normal by 2022. There’s a possibility that by this summer, we’ll be able to travel wherever we please. However, even with President Biden’s plan, it’s unlikely that the United States will be back up and running by April 30th.