On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccines for every adult in the United States by the end of May.
The same day, the administration announced a deal that would allow pharmaceutical company Merck to produce Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, The Washington Post reported.
“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said at the White House.
The administration will invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the production of vaccine materials and acquire needed medical supplies, The New York Times reported.
In a Board of Trustees meeting last week, Provost Wendell Pritchett estimated that there is a "50-50 chance" that Penn will launch a student vaccination campaign by May. He added that the University does not yet know when vaccines will be available for students.
Biden also called for states to prioritize teachers and school staff in vaccine distribution, urging states to administer at least one dose to school staff and childcare workers by the end of March. The government will provide vaccines through the federal pharmacy program, Biden said in the announcement.
“As yet another move to help accelerate the safe reopening of schools, let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is,” Biden said. “And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, child care workers — get them vaccinated immediately.”
During a CNN town hall in February, Biden said his goal was to have the majority of K-8 schools return to in-person by the end of his first 100 days in office, NPR reported.
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that educators in the state will be eligible to receive the vaccine next week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Teachers and school staff in Philadelphia, which has separate vaccine guidelines from the state, became eligible to receive the vaccine in February.
Last week, the federal government opened a mass vaccination clinic in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which will provide an expected 6,000 doses each day in addition to the supply of vaccines provided to the city.