Everyone over 16 should be eligible by the end of the month.
Last month, during his first televised press conference, President Joe Biden gave all 50 of the United States a deadline of May 1 to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all citizens at or above the age of 16. So far, the country has done a good job of expanding that eligibility; over half of the country, 36 states as of writing, are allowing citizens 16 and up to receive one of three available vaccines, while 12 other states plus the District of Columbia are on track to do so well before the end of the month.
With this tailwind toward expanding eligibility, Biden has decided to formally move up his official deadline from May 1 to April 19, which all 50 states should be capable of reaching. This past Monday, the US surpassed Biden’s goal of 150 million administered vaccine shots within his first 100 days in office, which prompted him to update that target to 200 million. Biden stressed that this pace not only needs to be maintained, but increased, as the discovery of new variants is already prompting fears of a fourth wave.
“Let me explain it in a single word: Time. Time. Even moving at the record speed we’re moving at, we’re not even half way through vaccinating over 300 million Americans. This is going to take time,” he said.
Biden went on to remind everyone to continue pandemic safety measures, such as face masks and social distancing. He also took the time to urge senior citizens to get vaccinated if they haven’t already, as the vast majority of COVID-19-induced deaths in the United States, approximately 80%, have been elderly citizens.
“We’re still in a life and death race with this virus,” he cautioned.
According to the CDC’s most recent statistics, about 1 in 3 American citizens have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far.