Capitol Report: Biden announces plans for U.S. to buy 200 million more COVID vaccine doses

United States

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced plans for the U.S. to buy an additional 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, as he boosted efforts to get more Americans vaccinated.

The administration is working to buy an additional 100 million doses each of authorized vaccines from Pfizer PFE, +0.08% and Moderna MRNA, +3.35%, Biden said at the White House. He said he expected delivery this summer.

“Help is on the way,” said Biden, who said the order would enable vaccinating 300 million Americans by the “end of this summer, beginning of the fall.”

Shortly before Biden spoke, the Associated Press reported that his administration planned to give states an approximately 17% boost in vaccines next week, following complaints of severe shortages.

The AP said figures posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website Tuesday showed that the government plans to make about 10.1 million first and second doses available next week, up from this week’s allotment of 8.6 million. The figures represent doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, AP said.

On Monday, Biden suggested the U.S. could soon be vaccinating 1.5 million Americans a day on average, up from the current 1 million.

Biden’s remarks came as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose above 422,000.

See: Coronavirus Update

The new president is pressing Congress to approve a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, but is running into resistance from Republicans who balk at the price tag. Biden on Monday said he expects talks on the plan to take a couple of weeks.

Now read: Biden calls for $ 1,400 checks in $ 1.9 trillion relief plan

Biden, meanwhile, has aggressively taken executive action since being sworn in on Jan. 20, saying families and businesses can’t wait for relief. Among the executive orders he has signed are those creating the position of a COVID-19 response coordinator; invoking the Defense Production Act to fill supply shortfalls; and reinstating coronavirus travel restrictions on most of Europe and Brazil.

Read: All of President Biden’s key executive orders — in one chart

U.S. stocks DJIA, -0.07% finished slightly lower Tuesday as investors dug through a slew of high-profile corporate earnings reports a day after the S&P 500 SPX, -0.15% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.07% scored another round of all-time highs.

Read: Market Snapshot