“That means by no later than April 19th in every part of the country every adult over the age of 18, 18 or older, will be eligible to be vaccinated. No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions,” Biden said in White House remarks.
“My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults, but beginning April 19th every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a Covid vaccination,” the President continued.
Speaking at the White House after visiting a vaccination center in Alexandria, Virginia, Biden also announced that 150 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered within his first 75 days in office, in line with a stated goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office.
While Biden touted progress made in US vaccine efforts, he stressed the country must continue to ramp up efforts to beat the pandemic.
“We know what we have to do. We have to ramp up a whole of government approach that rallies the whole country and puts us on a war footing to truly beat this virus,” Biden said.
In advance of the new vaccine eligibility date, Biden sent a direct message to seniors in his remarks: “Seniors. It’s time for you to get vaccinated now. Get vaccinated now. To make it easier, my administration is sending aid to community groups to drive seniors to vaccination sites.”
Some more background: Biden announced last week that 90% of adults will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine by April 19, as well as have a vaccination site within five miles of where they live. The President said the number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy vaccination program was increasing from the current 17,000 locations to 40,000.
CNN has previously reported that all 50 states have announced when they plan to open vaccinations to everyone who is eligible, if they haven’t done so already. Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii and New Jersey all currently plan to open eligibility by May 1, so it remains to be seen how Biden’s announcement changes those states’ plans.