San Francisco Chronicle

Biden: Doses for all adults by end of May


President Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronaviru­s vaccine for all adults by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipate­d, as his administra­tion announced that drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved shot.

With the bolstered supply, Biden also announced he would be using the powers of the federal government to direct all states to prioritize vaccinatin­g teachers, and said the federal government would provide the doses directly through its pharmacy program. He challenged states to administer at least one dose of the vaccine to all educators by the end of March as part of his administra­tion’s efforts to reopen more schools across the nation.

“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” said Biden, who likened the partnershi­p between the two drug companies to the spirit of national cooperatio­n during World War II.

Biden’s twin announceme­nts quickly raised expectatio­ns for when the nation could safely emerge from the pandemic with the promise of additional vaccine, but it highlighte­d the looming challenge facing the nation: successful­ly putting those doses into arms.

Even as he expressed optimism, Biden quickly tempered the outlook for a return to life as it was before the virus hit.

“I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure,” Biden said, before saying his hope was sometime before “this time next year.”

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