By Miriam Raftery
January 27, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden’s national strategy to combat COVID-19, includes orders to purchase 200 million more vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, boosting supply to 600 million. He also announced ramped up distribution of vaccines by next week to states and tribal governments.
This week he also plans to sign an executive order to reopen open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act health insurance policies, since so many out of work Americans have lost healthcare during the pandemic. Biden also plans to make it easier for low-income people to join Medicaid by rolling back certain restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, CNN reports.
In addition, Biden has ordered increased production of the vaccines with the expectation that all of the 368 million Americans who want to be vaccinated will have vaccines available this spring, a pace dramatically accelerated over the prior administration both in numbers of vaccines available and pace of distribution.
That puts the U.S. on pace to receive far more than the 1.5 million vaccines a day initially projected by mid-February. So far, about 23 million doses have been administered, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but less than 2 million have received both doses.
A third possible vaccine by Johnson and Johnson is entering final testing. If approved by the FDA, it would require only a single shot and can be stored at lower temperatures, making it easier to offer in more locations.
"We now have a national strategy to beat Covid-19. It's comprehensive. It's based on science, not politics. It's based on truth, not denial, and it is detailed," Biden stated.