WILMINGTON, Del. – President-elect Joe Biden outlined a plan on Friday afternoon to administer the Covid-19 vaccine that includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard to set up vaccine clinics across the country.
Biden’s plan also includes mobilizing more personnel to support the vaccination effort, educating Americans who are hesitant to take the vaccine, and ensuring equitable access to the vaccine across the United States.
“Our plan is as clear as it is bold: Get more people vaccinated for free. Create more places for them to get vaccinated. Mobilize more medical teams to get the shots in people’s arms. Increase supply and get it out the door as soon as possible,” Biden said.
Under the plan, the President-elect would jumpstart the efforts and make the vaccine available in all pharmacies in America. He would also launch mobile vaccination clinics for reach in urban and rural areas.
The plan also details how the White House would enlist the help of FEMA and the National Guard to set up community vaccination sites to help the states vaccinate more people.
Biden described the current vaccination rollout by President Donald Trump as a “dismal failure thus far.”
“If you were to ask most people today, they couldn’t tell you who exactly is getting vaccinated. What they do know is there are tens of millions of doses of vaccine sitting unused in freezers around the country, while people who want and need the vaccine can’t get it,” he said.
Biden continued: “We’ll fix the problem by encouraging states to allow more people to get vaccinated beyond health care workers and move through those groups as quickly as they think we can.”
The plan also details new ways of getting shots to high-risk individuals such as homeless people, incarcerated people, and intellectually disabled people.
Biden has repeatedly said his goal is to get 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be administered within the first 100 days of his presidency. He cautioned Americans to be patient and warned “things will get worse before they get better”.
The President-elect said he was “convinced” his administration could meet his goal of administering 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office.
“I am convinced we can get it done. And this is the time to set big goals and to pursue them with courage and conviction because the health of the nation is at stake,” Biden said.
While Biden has set some very ambitious goals for ramping up the distribution of the vaccine, there are parts of his plan that remain unclear. For example, he has not provided detail on how might use the Defense Production Act to ramp up vaccine supply.
Biden’s transition team has not provided a concrete number of federalized vaccination sites nor how it plans to track states’ progress.
“We’ll fix the problem by encouraging states to allow more people to get vaccinated beyond health care workers and move through these groups as quickly as states think they can. That includes anyone 65 and older,” Biden said Friday.