April 19 (UPI) — All adults in the United States are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with the last several states expanding access Monday to meet President Joe Biden’s deadline.
Biden moved up his original May 1 deadline earlier this month. On Monday, the last six states to open eligibility to all adults are Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Alaska was the first state to open coronavirus vaccine access to all adults on March 9, and was followed by Mississippi a week later and West Virginia and Utah a few days after that. Most states opened up eligibility sometime in April.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or about 50% of the population 18 and over. Eighty-one percent of those 65 and older have been vaccinated, the data show.
Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 200 million people nationwide by his 100th day in office on April 30.
Vaccinations in the United States hit a snag last week when federal regulators recommended a pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over possible ties to a handful of blood clotting cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN Sunday that he expects regulators to make a decision about the Johnson & Johnson shot by Friday.
The White House said last week it didn’t expect the pause to hinder national vaccine distribution and noted that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine represented only about 5% of all shots being administered at federal vaccination sites.