Biden extends Covid Vaccine deadline for all U.S. adults to April 19

President Joe Biden has announced 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.

Biden announced the new deadline after he visited a vaccination site in Alexandria, Va.

The deadline, though voluntary, applies public pressure to states that haven’t already expanded their eligibility guidelines.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had earlier confirmed Biden would announce the new deadline for states.

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 5 miles of their home under an expanded vaccination plan.

Roughly 40,000 pharmacies will distribute the vaccine, up from 17,000, the president said, and the U.S. is setting up a dozen more mass vaccination sites by April 19.

Biden also announced Tuesday that the U.S. has reached 150 million shots administered within his first 75 days in office.

The president 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.

More than 40% of adults have had at least one shot, Slavitt said. He added that 75% of seniors have now received at least one shot, and more than half are fully vaccinated.

Even as the pace of vaccinations picks up, highly contagious variants are rapidly spreading, potentially stalling the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.