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December 10, 2020 -- President-elect Joe Biden has promised 100 million vaccine shots during his first 100 days in office and said getting children back to school would be a “national priority.”

Biden pledged his plans to shift the COVID-19 pandemic while introducing the members of his health team during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus — I can’t promise that,” he said.

However, he added, “I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.”

The goal of 100 million vaccines by April lines up with similar goals set by President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times. Its success depends on a smooth manufacturing and distribution process once coronavirus vaccines receive FDA approval.

“Distribution has to be seamless all across the U.S., and that means every state and local health department coordinating,” Leana Wen, MD, a former health commissioner for Baltimore, told the newspaper.

“And there’s the issue of public trust,” she said. “So I certainly hope that it happens, but it’s very optimistic.”

So far, the U.S. government has signed contracts with Pfizer and Moderna to purchase 100 million doses from each company, which is just enough to vaccinate 100 million Americans with the two-dose regimen. Biden’s advisers have noted that the promise is to dole out 100 million doses, not necessarily to vaccinate 100 million people, the newspaper reported.

In addition to vaccines, Biden called for Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office and said he plans to require masks in federal buildings and on interstate transportation.

Also on Tuesday, Biden pledged to get children back to school during the first quarter. He urged Congress to fund both the vaccine distribution and school reopening priorities, according to The Associated Press.

“It should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school,” Biden said. “If Congress provides the funding, we need to protect students, educators and staff. If states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days,”

Show Sources

C-SPAN, “Biden Health-Related Nominees and Appointees.”

New York Times, “Biden Promises 100 Million Vaccine Shots in 100 Days, but Shortage Worries Rise.”

Associated Press, “Biden vows to reopen most schools after 1st 100 days on job.”

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