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The seven-day average of coronavirus vaccines administered in the U.S. has reached 1.7 million per day, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said at a Wednesday briefing.

Why it matters: That pace puts President Biden on course for meeting his goal of 100 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office, which would land on April 29. 54 million vaccine shots have been administered thus far, and 5% of Americans have received both doses.

  • If the federal government — and states handling daily vaccine operations — can maintain this course of 1.7 million shots per day, 80% herd immunity could be reached by Nov. 17, according to a Washington Post analysis.
  • Speeding up the rate of vaccinations is key in order to get life back to some semblance of normal and prevent potentially vaccine-resistant variants from becoming dominant in the U.S., per the Post.
The White House weekly vaccination progress report displayed at Wendesday's briefing.

Driving the news: Zients told governors Tuesday that beginning this week, the federal government's weekly allocation of vaccines to states will increase from 11 million doses to 13.5 million doses — a total increase of 57% since the start of the Biden administration.

  • The administration is also doubling the weekly supply of vaccine doses to local pharmacies from 1 million to 2 million, and has activated 1,200 National Guard troops to serve as community vaccinators .
  • Zients said that community centers, high school gyms, churches, and stadiums are serving as vaccination sites, with federally-run sites "that can give over 30,000 shots a week."

The bottom line: The U.S. is on track to have enough vaccine supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July, according to Zients.

Go deeper

Updated Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Winter storm causes "widespread delays" of COVID vaccine shipments

Chicago residents dig out their car after a snowstorm coupled with lake-effect snow dumped more than 17 inches of snow in some areas of the city. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The winter storm sweeping across Texas and much of the U.S. has posed new obstacles to coronavirus vaccination efforts.

Driving the news: Hazardous weather has slowed deliveries from two central distribution hubs for the Southeast. The U.S. government is projecting "widespread delays" in vaccine shipments in the next few days, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesperson told the Washington Post.

Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Testing and tracing "win" sees New Zealand city lockdown end despite COVID cases

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, New Zealand, on Wednesday. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Wednesday Auckland's snap lockdown will end at midnight.

Why it matters: Officials confirmed two new COVID-19 community cases Wednesday. Ardern told reporters test results show "we don't have a widespread outbreak, but rather a small chain of transmission," centering around an Auckland high school, "which is manageable."

Feb 17, 2021 - Health

Biden and Fauci mark White House Snapchat return with pandemic message

A screenshot of President Biden's Snapchat video. Photo: White House

The White House marked a return to Snapchat with President Biden and his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, appearing in public health video messages on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details: In the White House Snapchat story, which appears on the "Discover" page of curated content, a masked Biden urges users to wear face coverings because "you're going to save lives."