The White House said Wednesday it will expand U.S. vaccine manufacturing to produce an additional 1 billion doses a year. Critics called the plan a good first step but said much more needs to be done to end the current pandemic — and to stop future outbreaks. Oxfam America said in a statement, “manufacturing should be spread around the world, especially Africa, not limited to the U.S.” Fewer than 5% of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of a vaccine.
Meanwhile, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday about 10% of U.S. children aged 5 to 11 have gotten their first COVID shots, and he announced another vaccine milestone.
Jeffrey Zients: “And today we reached the milestone of 80% of Americans 12 and older with at least one shot.”
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to climb across the U.S., with cases rising in 36 states. Nearly 1,100 U.S. residents are dying of the disease, on average, each day.