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A new president takes on one of the biggest vaccine challenges in history

Good afternoon, readers.

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday. It’s safe to say he has his work cut out for him.

Well before his inauguration, Biden had made it clear that he would take an aggressive approach to tackling the COVID pandemic.

Just today, his first full day in office, the president announced more details on how the administration hopes to secure more protective equipment for health care workers, encourage reluctant Americans to get a COVID vaccine (to the tune of 100 million doses delivered in 100 days), and build out the necessary infrastructure to achieve all of those lofty goals. If you’re really bored, you can wade through the nearly-200 page plan here.

Of course, plans such as these are meant to set goals and shape agendas. Delivering a policy message during an outbreak is undoubtedly important, but whether or not it actually works out is an entirely different story which will rely on the collaboration between private and public entities.

I actually had the pleasure of discussing some of these issues on our latest Fortune Brainstorm podcast about the vaccine rollout. The conversation was focused on the data-related and technological failures which have led to the dismally low rate of Americans to actually receive available doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines thus far.

It’s not a knock on the multiple industries involved in this Herculean endeavor. The fact that we even have viable vaccines this quickly is stunning.

But the supply chain bottlenecks and social messaging roadbumps are real, and they’ll need to be addressed if we truly want enough people in America to achieve herd immunity.

Read on for the day’s news, and see you next week.

Sy Mukherjee
sy.mukherjee@fortune.com
@the_sy_guy

As the Biden administration officially takes over, it faces a massive task: Getting COVID vaccines into people’s arms.Read More

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