Biden moving up national COVID-19 vaccine eligibility deadline to April 19

President Joe Biden visits a federal vaccination site Tuesday at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI

April 6 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will announce Tuesday that he’s moving up his national COVID-19 vaccine deadline, for all residents in all states to be eligible to receive the shots, by almost two weeks.

Biden is moving the deadline from May 1 to April 19, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing Tuesday morning.

Biden will formally make the announcement Tuesday afternoon following a visit to a federal vaccination site in Alexandria, Va. The president will detail the change at 3:45 p.m. EDT.

Biden’s deadline has been voluntary, but it has pressured some states in recent weeks to move more quickly to expand vaccine eligibility guidelines.

Most states have already announced plans to open eligibility to all adults by April 19. Only Hawaii and Oregon have not. Biden established the original May 1 deadline last month, when he called on states, tribes and territories to make all adults eligible to be vaccinated.

Biden said last week that 90% of U.S. adults were on pace to be eligible for the vaccine by April 19. He added that the number of pharmacies participating in the federal vaccination program would rise from 17,000 locations to 40,000.

Biden is also expected to announce Tuesday that the United States has reached 150 million shots administered within his first 75 days in office. He has set a goal of 200 million vaccinations by his 100th day in office, April 30.

An average of about 3.1 million doses per day are given nationwide, White House senior pandemic adviser Andy Slavitt said Monday. He added that 75% of seniors have received at least one shot, and more than half are fully vaccinated. Overall, more than 40% of adults have had at least one shot, he said.


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