President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that every American who wanted a COVID-19 vaccination would be able to get one “by the end of July.” The remarks delivered during a CNN town hall have been among his most optimistic about how quickly Americans will have access to vaccines against coronavirus.
The July timeline came when CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked the president when most Americans would who wanted a vaccine would be able to get vaccinated.
“By the end of July this year,” Biden asserted, before later clarifying that the vaccines would “be available” by then. He added that he did not anticipate it would take months to get the shots into people’s arms.
The comments were a rosier picture than the one delivered last week when Biden warned that although his administration had secured 200 million more doses of coronavirus vaccines to cover the U.S. population, logistical challenges to vaccine rollout would probably mean that many Americans would still not have been vaccinated by the end of the summer.
The New York Times points out that Biden warned last week that it would still be a challenge to get the vaccines into people’s arms. “It’s one thing to have the vaccine,” Biden said at the time. “It’s another thing to have vaccinators.”
Vice President Kamala Harris reinforced those comments when she said during an Axios interview that aired on Sunday that the new administration was “starting from scratch” after being left with “no national strategy or plan for vaccinations.”
The president waded into the topic of teachers being prioritized for vaccines on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on the reopening of schools earlier in the week.
“I think that we should be vaccinating teachers. We should move them up in the hierarchy,” he said.
Biden predicted that the nation would be “significantly better off than we are today” at the start of the next school year in September.
He further anticipated that the landscape would continue to improve toward the holiday season.
“By next Christmas I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today,” Biden said. “A year from now, I think that there’ll be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, having to wear a mask.”