Biden’s Vaccine Rollout Success


President Biden Visits NIH Vaccine Research Center

Hunter Graves

Prior to taking office, then President-Elect Joseph R. Biden announced his plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccination doses into the arms of Americans within his first 100 days in office. This plan was met with criticism from experts on both sides, with some saying that it was too ambitious and others saying it wasn’t ambitious enough. Regardless of the criticism received, the Biden administration was able to meet this goal in just 58 days, nearly half the time. This is no small feat as the pace of vaccination rollout had to increase 5-to-6 times since the end of President Donald Trump’s term. 

President Biden has now doubled his initial goal to an even loftier one: 200 million vaccines administered within the end of his first 100 days. With this new goal, however, comes a new problem: dealing with those who refuse to get it. 

A recent Monmouth Poll found that nearly 25% of Americans are unwilling to get vaccinated. Recent confusion over the efficacy and safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet approved in the United States, has only added fuel to the fire. With the end goal of herd immunity that will hopefully bring an end to this pandemic, this alarming amount of vaccine hesitancy will soon become the paramount issue for President Biden’s new goal. 

President Biden has already taken some actions to prevent the negative consequences of vaccine hesitancy. During his first press conference, President Biden announced that his administration will invest 10 billion dollars into increasing vaccine distribution in the highest-risk areas of the country, ones with high levels of minorities and low-income populations. These communities, notably, are often the ones that are most hesitant to receive the vaccine, as institutional racism for decades has damaged the relationship between public health and communities of color. 

Another challenge that faces President Biden in terms of vaccine rollout is the discrepancies between rates of vaccine administration in red and blue states. These statistics go hand-in-hand with polling that suggests that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be hesitant about taking the vaccine, and that politicization has affected vaccinations.  

Still, even with setbacks to vaccine distribution, it is very clear that the United States is a leader in vaccine rollout, as US vaccination rates are nearly five times higher than the global average. On top of this, President Biden has recently pushed the deadline for the eligibility of the COVID vaccine for all adults up to April 19th, nearly two weeks ahead of the previous deadline, meaning that, soon, every American adult who wants to get vaccinated can. 

There is still a long road until the end of this monumental period in American history, but with records over vaccine distribution being shattered every week, President Biden may be able to move the country past this deadly pandemic.