US PRESIDENT Joe Biden has pledged to provide around 600 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July.
That would be more than enough to inoculate the entire US population, should they wish to receive the jab, with Biden hopeful the plan could help bring normality back by Christmas.
"By the end of July we'll have 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate every American," Biden said at a CNN town hall meeting.
The plans come just a week after the US government announced that Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. would deliver 300 million doses of each of their vaccines to the US by the end of July.
Biden also expressed his desire to see children back in schools as quickly as possible and backed plans for the vaccination of teachers as a priority, stating that authorities should "move them up in the hierarchy."
Asked when he though life would get back to normal, Biden said: "It's a high probability that the vaccinations that are available today — and the new one, Johnson & Johnson, God willing will prove to be useful — that with those vaccinations, the ability to continue to spread the disease is going to diminish considerably because of what they call herd immunity.
“By next Christmas I think we'll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today."
"A year from now I think that there will be significantly fewer people that have to be socially distanced, have to wear a mask," Biden added, though he was keen not to take anything for granted.
“But we don't know," he said, "so I don't want to over-promise anything here."
The US president had previously suggested vaccines would be available in the US by spring, but he has since been forced to walk back on those claims amid issues over availability and distribution.
According to the White House, shipments of the vaccines are set to increase from 11 million to 13.5 million next week, with shipments to pharmacies also set to double.
Biden revealed both Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. had agreed to sell more doses of their coronavirus vaccine to the US at a fast rater after he invoked a piece of federal law forcing their production.
“We got them to move up time because we used the National Defense Act to be able to help the manufacturing piece of it, to get more equipment," he said.
He may have been referring to the Defense Production Act, which would allow the government to nationalise commercial production in times of emergency.