Joe Cobarrubio, 34, is given a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Artesia, California, U.S., April 5, 2021.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Tuesday that states should open Covid-19 vaccine appointments to all U.S. adults by April 19, moving up his original deadline by nearly two weeks, a White House official confirmed to NBC News.
Biden is expected to announce the new deadline later Tuesday following his visit at a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia. The deadline, though voluntary, applies public pressure to states to expand their eligibility guidelines.
A few weeks ago, Biden called on states, tribes and territories to make all U.S. adults eligible for vaccination no later than May 1. However, most states have already announced plans to open eligibility to all adults by April 19. Only Hawaii and Oregon haven’t already announced plans to have open eligibility by that date, according to NBC News.
Biden announced last week that 90% of adults in the U.S. would be eligible for Covid-19 shots by April 19 and will be able to get them within five miles of their home under an expanded vaccination plan. Roughly 40,000 pharmacies will distribute the vaccine, up from 17,000, Biden said, and the U.S. is setting up a dozen more mass vaccination sites by April 19.
“For the vast, vast majority of adults, you won’t have to wait until May 1. You’ll be eligible for your shot on April 19,” Biden said March 29 during a press conference on the government’s Covid-19 response and vaccination efforts around the country.
Biden is pushing to have 200 million Covid shots administered within his first 100 days in office. As of last week, the pace of U.S. vaccinations has been averaging about 3.1 million doses per day, Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior pandemic advisor, said Monday.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.