President Joe Biden has announced that 90 percent of the adults in the US would be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination by April 19 and the final 10 percent no later than May 1.
The vaccination drive under the Biden administration has been going in at an unprecedented pace. As many as 100 million shots have been administered in less than 60 days of his administration and they are now moving on to the next 100 million shots in just 40 days.
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"The progress we're making is a significant testament to what we can do when we work together as Americans. But as I've always said, we still need everyone to do their part. We still are in a war with this deadly virus. And we're bolstering our defenses, but this war is far from won," Biden said.
According to Biden, the progress on vaccination is a stunning example that there is nothing this country cannot do if "we put their minds to it".
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Biden said just 10 weeks after he became the president, nearly 75 percent of Americans over the age of 65 had received at least one vaccination shot.
"When I took office on January 20th, that number was 8 percent. It's going to 75 percent. That's a lot of grandparents who are now able to safely hug their grandchildren and they couldn't do so just a short time ago," he said.
The president also directed officials to ensure there is a vaccine site within five miles of 90 percent of all Americans by April 19.
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