Coronavirus: Biden ups vaccination goal to 200 million in first 100 days

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that he’s increasing his goal to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office to 200 million people after meeting his goal 58 days into his presidency.

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“I know it’s ambitious -- twice our original goal -- but no other country in the world has even come close, not even close, to what we’re doing,” Biden said during a news conference at the White House. “I believe we can do it.”

While seemingly ambitious, Biden’s vaccine goal amounts to a continuation of the existing pace of vaccinations through the end of next month. The U.S. is now averaging about 2.5 million doses per day. An even greater rate is possible. Over the next month, two of the bottlenecks to getting Americans vaccinated are set to be lifted as the U.S. supply of vaccines is on track to increase and states lift eligibility requirements to get shots.

As of Wednesday morning, the most recent date for which data was available, 130.4 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46.3 million Americans have been fully vaccinated so far, amounting to about 14% of the population.

More than 30 million people across America have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. The viral infection has claimed over 545,000 lives nationwide.

Globally, nearly 125 million people have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in over 2.7 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.