WASHINGTON (Nation Now) – President Joe Biden announced Monday that 90% of adults in the United States will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine and will have a vaccination site within 5 miles of their homes by April 19.
Biden also announced that the number of federal immunization program pharmacies would double from 17,000 to 40,000 by April 19. Retail pharmacies are located near most Americans and have experience delivering vaccines like flu shots.
It comes a few days after he signed up have 200 million doses of vaccines administered before the end of its first 100 days in service. This is double the target he set for himself in December and reached earlier this month before its 60th day in the office.
“I know it’s ambitious, twice our original target, but no other country in the world has even come close,” Biden said at his first press conference last week.
Biden had previously called on all states to make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1, but many have decided to lift eligibility requirements earlier in anticipation of an increase in supply.
The administration increased its shipments of COVID-19 vaccines after a month of stagnant weekly deliveries, giving states the doses they say they need to complete immunization of priority groups and open vaccines to all adults in the coming weeks.
Biden announced that the United States expects delivery of 33 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, including 11 million doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Shipments of the single-injection vaccine have been slow to increase since its approval in late February, with the company awaiting regulatory approval from a key U.S. plant. Pfizer has also increased production of its vaccine, doubling batch size and shortening production time.
However, the country’s top infectious disease expert warned of the increase in the number of cases and hospitalizations across the country last week.
“When I am often asked: ‘Are we passing the milestone? “My answer is really more like we are right around the corner,” said Dr Anthony Fauci. “It remains to be seen whether or not we will take this turn. “
Director of the Rochelle Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Walensky said she was worried about another wave of coronavirus similar to the fall.
“Right now I’m scared… I want so badly to end this,” Walensky said on Monday. “So I ask you to be patient a little longer. “
Biden appealed directly to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they relaxed them, telling Americans “to mask themselves is a patriotic duty.”
Biden addressed the nation from the White House, saying, “If we let our guard down now, we can see the virus getting worse, not better. People are abandoning precautions, which is a very bad thing. “
The CDC stressed that people must continue to protect themselves with masks and social distancing. Experts say they are troubled by what they are seeing across the country, such as the large crowds gather in Miami during spring break.
In total, more than 180.6 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, with more than 143.4 doses administered according to the CDC. Since Biden took office in January, his administration has administered nearly 130 million doses of the shot.
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