President-elect Joe Biden received his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, three weeks after receiving his first vaccine, amid a slow roll-out of vaccinations nationwide to fight a pandemic that continues to mount in United States.
Biden took off his sports jacket to reveal a dark short-sleeved t-shirt underneath and said, “On your marks, get set, go.”
Biden had his first photo on December 21 during a televised procedure. The virus has now killed nearly 375,000 people in the United States and continues to disrupt lives across the country.
In comments to reporters after his shooting, Biden said he was convinced his COVID-19 team could strike ambitious vaccination rate targets after taking office on January 20. The president-elect said his administration would mount an aggressive vaccination campaign, with the goal of delivering 100 million doses of the vaccine in the first 100 days. He also called the current rate of the thousands of people who die each day “beyond the pale”.
As of Monday, nearly nine million Americans had received their first vaccine, or 2.7% of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts said up to 85% of the population will need to be vaccinated to gain “herd immunity” and beat the epidemic.
According to CDC data, some public health experts have noted that no U.S. state has come close to depleting its federal vaccine allocations so far.
In recent days, states have added vaccination capabilities with the ad hoc conversion of empty sports venues, convention halls and schools into vaccination centers.
“Each hit in the arm is one more step towards ending this pandemic,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Many states are responding by opening the line and stepping up the pace of vaccinations, in some cases offering them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In New York, the epicenter of the outbreak at the start of last year, two 24/7 sites have been opened and several more are expected to be operational over the next two weeks. Meetings on Tuesday from midnight to 4 a.m. were made quickly, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. As of Monday, the state began offering vaccines to people over 75, teachers, transit workers and other frontline workers.
Arizona, with the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the United States, was planning to dispense injections starting Monday as part of a 24-hour drive-through operation at the stadium in suburban Phoenix. Shots are offered to people aged 75 and over, teachers, police and firefighters.
In Texas, the county of Dallas was to open Monday a “megasite” of vaccines on the ground where the Texas State Fair is held.
Detroit will turn its TCF convention center into a vaccination center starting Wednesday, with officials planning to schedule 20,000 appointments over the next month for people 75 and older. Police officers and bus drivers can also start getting vaccinated on weekends.
“We will continue to increase our vaccinations to the maximum extent that supply allows,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
In California, one of the deadliest hot spots in the United States, authorities on Monday opened a “vaccination superstation” driving in a parking lot where the goal is to vaccinate 5,000 health workers per day. People will remain in their vehicles while they are being shot, and will be asked to stay for 15 minutes so they can be watched for any reaction.
Approximately 584,000 doses have been administered in California, or approximately 1.5 percent of the population.
Florida, a longtime retirement haven with one of the largest concentrations of seniors in the country, uses the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens to distribute punches.
Governor Ron DeSantis has decided to open up vaccination more widely to people 65 years of age and over.
Deployments have been spotty across counties across the state, but have met huge demand, with some older people lining up in the cold or sleeping in their cars overnight.