President Joe Biden is shifting the deadline for states to make all U.S. adults eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine to April 19. The move pushes the eligibility up by two weeks. He’d originally called on states to open up vaccines for all adults by May 1, and many states have already done so.
The president made the announcement Tuesday during a tour of a pop-up vaccination site at the Virginia Theological Seminary. While urging Americans to get vaccinated, wear masks, and to continue to socially distance, he reiterated that with the growing number of variants. the virus remains dangerous.
“We aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do,” he said. Adding “We’re still in a life and death race against this virus.”
Biden estimates that those being vaccinated could receive their shots within five miles of their home under an expanded vaccination plan. All 50 states have announced when they plan to open vaccines to all adults, with 36 states already open to ages 16 and older, according to CBS News.
Twelve more states and the District of Columbia had already been scheduled to be open eligibility by April 19 with two remaining states — Hawaii and Oregon — being slated for May 1.
The president hoped his pronouncement would change things.
“No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions,” Biden said.
There have been 150 million vaccination doses administered during Bidens first 75 days in office, with the goal of reaching 200 million shots during his first 100 days.
The U.S. has distributed 219 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and 168.6 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the latest CDC tally updated on Tuesday. About 63 million people have received two doses or are considered fully vaccinated, which is about 19% of the population, the CDC reported.