White House says weekly vaccine doses will increase to 15.2 million

The White House on Tuesday announced plans to further increase the number of vaccine doses sent to states each week from 14.5 million to 15.2 million.

“In our COVID team’s weekly meeting with the governors, we announced another supply increase for states, tribes and territories from 14.5 to 15.2 million doses per week,” White House press secretary told reporters at a briefing. “Furthermore, states are also receiving 2.8 million of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, so they are receiving a total of 18 million doses.” 

The increase marks a significant uptick in doses since took office in January when Psaki said that 8.6 million doses were being distributed to states each week. It comes amid reports of difficulties in several areas including Washington, D.C., around access to vaccinations. 

Biden is also expected to announce Tuesday afternoon that vaccine manufacturer Merck will help produce the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend. The vaccine is the third to be approved for use in the United States. 

Psaki told reporters that Biden would invoke the Defense Production Act to help support the production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and request logistical support from the Department of Defense in the effort. 

The Biden administration expects that the U.S. will have enough vaccine to vaccinate the American population by the end of July, though the distribution effort continues to pose logistical hurdles for the federal government and state and local leaders. 

Biden, Vice President Harris and other administration officials are also working to address vaccine hesitancy by stressing the safety and efficacy of vaccines approved for use and urging Americans to sign up when it is their turn.

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