US President Joe Biden used a visit Friday to a Pfizer factory manufacturing coronavirus vaccines to reassure Americans that the shots are safe and hold the key to beating the pandemic.
Biden, who has made getting Covid-19 under control his top task since taking office a month ago, addressed Americans skeptical about the medicines, which were produced at record speed in response to the global health crisis.
“The vaccines are safe. Please, for yourself, your family, your community, this country, take the vaccine when it’s your turn and it’s available. That’s how we beat this pandemic,” he said against a backdrop of Pfizer’s gleaming manufacturing equipment at the Michigan facility.
Biden said companies making the vaccines are “fastidious” and “it takes more time to do the check for safety than it does to make the vaccine. That’s how fastidious they are.”
“If there’s one message to cut through to everyone in the country, it’s this: Vaccines are safe,” he added.
Biden said the program to deliver the vaccines into people’s arms is as complicated as the already intense challenges of manufacturing in huge quantities at speed.
“There has never, ever, ever been a logistical challenge as consequential as what we’re trying to do, but we’re getting it done,” he said.
According to Biden, his goal of administering a million shots a day for a total of 100 million in the first 100 days of his presidency is on track to be easily surpassed, with a current average of 1.7 million vaccines a day.
With the death toll set soon to pass 500,000 in the United States, Biden said he did not want to give firm predictions of when the crisis will be curbed.
However, he said that 600 million doses — enough to cover most of the country — were expected to be ready by the end of July.
“I believe we’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year. God willing, this Christmas will be different to last, but I can’t make that commitment,” he said.