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Biden said he will meet goal of 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days on Friday

A health worker prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 96-year-old Francesco Conte in Rome on March 17. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/AP)
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President Biden said Thursday that tomorrow, on day 58 of his administration, he will deliver on his campaign promise of administering 100 million vaccine doses during the first 100 days of his presidency, more than 40 days early.

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“Behind these 100 million shots are millions of lives changed when people receive that dose of hope,” he said in a brief statement from the White House on Thursday afternoon in which he emphasized that immunization is the best way to fight new variants of the virus.

Even though the president touted his achievement, he urged Americans to “do their part” and “keep their guards up,” continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing, pressing on the importance of the use of face masks until herd immunity is achieved.

“This is a time for optimism, but not a time for relaxation,” he said.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The European Medicines Agency said Thursday that the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective, but it cannot rule out a link between the vaccine and rare blood clots. The regulator said it will recommend including a warning about the risks with vaccine information and will reach out to health-care providers and the public about what to watch for.
  • According to data published by the CDC Thursday, 66 percent of adults in the United States, age 65 and older, have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease estimated that between 70% and 85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. Vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible is the best way to prevent the spread of more variants – since viruses evolve when they infect people, he said Thursday during a Senate hearing.
  • The prime ministers of France and Britain will get the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot on Friday, as European governments are seeking to boost trust in the vaccine following its week-long suspension across the continent. Spain and Italy have also said they will restart administering the vaccine.
  • Xavier Becerra narrowly received Senate confirmation to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency pivotal to Biden’s urgent goal of defeating the coronavirus pandemic and expanding health-care access.
  • The Biden administration has agreed to supply Mexico with excess doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and the decision to send the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico, and to Canada, is expected to be announced Friday.

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