On April 6, President Joe Biden announced that all US adults would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19. However, he added that the country is still in a “life-and-death race” against the coronavirus.
Half of all US adults are likely to have received at least the first dose of the available vaccines by the start of next week. So far, 108 million people have been vaccinated in the country. However, many states are witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases. For instance, Michigan is seeing growth rates it hasn’t since the late autumn surge in November. Three-quarters of the cases are believed to have been caused by the more contagious UK COVID-19 variant.
Combining words of caution and optimism at the White House on April 6, President Biden spoke about the administration’s success in fastening the pace of the vaccination effort. However, he said the progress is threatened by the rise in cases in many states across the nation as dangerous variants spread and some officials lift restrictions. He added, “We aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do.” He also stressed the importance of public safety measures like physical distancing and wearing a mask.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s heading the White House coronavirus expert team, expressed his concern about young people behaving as though the pandemic has ended. He said “more and more young people are getting into serious trouble” as they’re susceptible to “serious disease requiring hospitalizations and sometimes even resulting in tragic deaths.”
Meanwhile, many states have already said they will meet the accelerated timeline for vaccine eligibility, which has been shortened from the initial May 1 goal. States like Oregon and New Jersey announced this week that Americans who are 16 and above would be eligible to sign up for a vaccine on April 19.
During a weekly conference, the Biden administration informed governors that over 28 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to states this week. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration does not support creating a federal vaccine database or a vaccine passport.