Washington –announced Tuesday that the deadline for adult eligibility to throughout the country it will move until April 19. Biden had previously asked states and territories to enable all adults to receive vaccinations by May 1.
As of Tuesday, 36 states have opened vaccine eligibility to people 16 and older, while 12 more and the District of Columbia are already scheduled to do so on April 19. In other words, most states were already on track to match the president’s new proposal. April 19 deadline before I announced it.
It is not clear how moving forward a deadline set by the president actually changes the distribution of vaccines or how quickly they are injected into the arms of Americans. It was also not immediately clear Tuesday whether the new earlier deadline also indicates that vaccine supplies are coming in faster or if there are new plans to more quickly vaccinate Americans waiting to receive their vaccines.
Several states and major metropolitan areas, including Washington, are struggling to meet the high demand for vaccines, leaving currently eligible residents scrambling to find vaccine options in neighboring Maryland or Virginia.
Biden said last month that there would bevaccinate all Americans by the end of May.
The announcement comes as vaccinations continue at a remarkable pace, even as COVID-19 infection rates are increasing once again in several states. The president warned that variants are spreading and cases are increasing in some places.
“Let me explain it in one word: time. Time. Even moving at the record speed we are moving at, we are not even halfway through vaccinating more than 300 million Americans. This will take time,” he said. .
Biden urged people to remain cautious, to practice social distancing and to dress up.
“We are still in a life and death race with this virus,” he said.
He also pleaded with older people in particular to get vaccinated and urged younger people to encourage family members and neighbors. At least 80% of COVID-19 deaths in the US have occurred among older people.
The United States crossed 150 million shots on Monday, the president also announced. He has set a goal of 200 million shots in his first 100 days. More than 75% of those over 65 have received at least one injection, he said. He also said that about 80% of teachers and child care staff received at least one vaccination in late March. The president had set a goal for all teachers to receive at least one opportunity by the end of March.
Earlier Tuesday, the president visited a vaccination clinic at a seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that more than 167 million vaccines have been administered since the vaccines began shipping late last year. Nearly 1 in 3 Americans, 32.4%, has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far, the CDC said.