Biden expected to hit 100 million vaccinations goal as early as Thursday

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is poised to meet his goal of administering 100 million Covid-19 vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office as soon as Thursday, more than 40 days ahead of schedule.

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 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 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.

A White House official said that Biden is expected to discuss the progress toward the 100 million shots in a speech Thursday afternoon at the White House.

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