WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said he was poised to meet his goal of administering 100 million Covid-19 vaccination shots in his first 100 days on Friday, more than 40 days ahead of schedule.
"I am proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days into my administration, we will have met our goal," Biden said Thursday afternoon in a speech at the White House. "That's weeks ahead of schedule, even with the setbacks we faced during the winter storms."
Biden said that 100 million vaccines was "just the floor" and he would announce a new goal next week.
As of Wednesday, the United States had administered more than 96 million shots since Biden was sworn into office, with an average of nearly 2.5 million injections per day this past week, according to data compiled by NBC News.
Biden said that as of Thursday, 65 percent of people age 65 or older had received at least one shot and 36 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Biden was criticized by some for setting the bar too low with his target of 100 million shots, with health officials and experts saying that was well within reach. In the final days of then-President Donald Trump's administration, nearly 1 million shots were being administered per day, the daily average Biden needed to hit in order to meet his goal.
Biden acknowledged in January that his administration was likely capable of surpassing his 100 million goal, saying that he thought the country could reach 150 million shots in his first 100 days.
"It's here, sooner than many ever thought possible," he said in remarks at the White House on Monday. "Over the next 10 days, we will reach two giant goals: One hundred million shots in people's arms and 100 million checks in people's pockets."
When Biden first set a goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in December, no vaccine had been cleared for use and there was a lot of uncertainty around production capacity and distribution capabilities.
Biden said Thursday that "there was a lot that had to be done" when he took office.
"We needed more vaccines, more vaccinators and more places for people to get vaccinated," he said.
Biden has said that there will be enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. He has set up a number of federally-backed mass vaccination sites around the country to help administer the shots as quickly as possible, and has expanded the pool of qualified people to administer the shots to include dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals.