President Joe Biden is set to announce on Tuesday that he will move up the deadline for all adults to be eligible for a vaccine by about two weeks, CNN reports.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden will announce that all adults will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19, rather than the initial timeline of May 1.
"The President will announce officially later this afternoon that we've reached 150 million shots in arms since entering government and that by April 19 all adult Americans will be eligible to get the vaccine," she said at Tuesday’s White House press briefing.
"That doesn't mean they will get it that day -- it means they can join the line that day if they have not already done that beforehand,” she said. "It means that everybody will be eligible to go to their local pharmacy, go to their community health center, mobile vaccination site mass vaccination site on the date and moving forward.”
Biden ramps up vaccine access;
Biden vowed last week that nearly all adults will have a vaccination site within five miles of their home with the number of pharmacies participating in the federal distribution program rising from 17,000 locations to 40,000.
Biden said the administration would also launch another dozen federal mass vaccination sites, including in Tennessee, Wisconsin, Maryland, South Carolina, Colorado, and Minnesota.
Biden is scheduled to visit a vaccination site in Virginia on Tuesday to tout the 150 million doses that have already been administered through 75 days, putting the pace in line with his 200 million shots goal through his first 100 days.
US pace ahead of global average:
The US is the first country to distribute 150 million shots, coming in ahead of much larger China, which has administered about 140 million.
More than 75% of Americans over 65 have gotten at least one shot and 55% are fully vaccinated.
The administration plans to use some of the funding in the coronavirus relief package to expand mobile vaccination clinics to under-served areas and promote the vaccine amid alarming rates of avoidance.
The number of available doses is expected to outpace vaccine demand by May. The Biden administration is under pressure by poorer countries to share its doses.