Biden sets goal of 200 million U.S. COVID-19 shots in his first 100 days

·1 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden holds news conference at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday he was setting a new goal of administering 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States in his first 100 days in office.

"I believe we can do it," Biden told reporters at the White House.

His administration initially set a goal of 100 million shots administered in 100 days from taking office on Jan. 20, which was met ahead of schedule.

The White House said 130 million shots had been administered as of Wednesday. Some 85 million people have received one shot, while some 45 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Biden had said in late January that he wanted to ship out 150 million shots in his first 100 days, but his administration later went back and recommitted to its 100 million-dose target.

The new target is achievable if the pace of vaccinations continues at its current rate.

Biden pledged as a presidential candidate to do a better job of fighting the coronavirus pandemic than his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, who helped spur fast development of vaccines but otherwise downplayed the health crisis and eschewed advice on mask-wearing, large gatherings and other actions to stop the spread of the virus.

Biden and his aides have continued to urge Americans to be cautious and follow the advice of health experts even as more and more people get vaccinated.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Jeff Mason; Editing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)