WASHINGTON – All adults in the United States should be eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine by April 19, the White House said that President Joe Biden will announce in a speech Tuesday.
The new deadline for states, which is two weeks earlier than what Biden had previously targeted, shouldn’t be difficult to meet, as several states have already started giving the vaccine to anyone over the age of 16 who wants it.
“The president will officially announce later this afternoon that we have reached 150 million gunshots since we entered government,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the daily briefing. “By April 19, all adult Americans will be eligible to get the vaccine. That doesn’t mean they’ll get it that day; it means they can join the line that day, if they haven’t done so beforehand.”
CNN first reported Biden’s planned announcement about eligibility. Most states have already announced that they would open eligibility to all adults by April 19, with only Hawaii left to do so, according to the NBC News tally. Oregon Governor Kate Brown tweeted After Biden’s planned announcement was reported, his status would also make residents 16 and older eligible for vaccinations as of that date.
Biden had announced in his first primetime speech as president last month that he was directing states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines no later than May 1.
The president’s announcement on Tuesday comes as officials have raised concerns about another spike in Covid-19 cases, with the incidence rate rising in young adults. New Covid-19 cases over the past week were up 7 percent from the prior period, hospital admissions were up 3 percent, and deaths were down slightly to around 800 a day, officials said at a briefing on coronavirus at the White House on Monday.
Among those 65 and older, 55 percent of whom are fully vaccinated, there has been a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, authorities said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of adults in the US are fully vaccinated and about 40 percent have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Shannon Pettypiece contributed.