WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced that he’s moving up the deadline to open coronavirus vaccine eligibility to all adults in the U.S. by two weeks, from May 1 to April 19.
Update 4:25 p.m. ET April 6: Biden announced his decision during remarks Tuesday at the White House after he visited a vaccination site in Virginia.
“By no later than April 19, in every part of this country, every adult over the age of … 18 … will be eligible to be vaccinated,” the president said. “No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions.”
Original report: An unidentified administration official told CNN that Biden will make the announcement during remarks scheduled Tuesday afternoon from the White House. An unnamed White House official also confirmed the plan to The Associated Press.
The news is expected to come weeks after Biden used his executive authority to direct states, tribes and territories to make all adult Americans eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by May 1.
Last week, Biden said 90% of American adults would be eligible for vaccination by April 19. The president said that by that time, 90% of adults would also be able to find a vaccination site within five miles of their homes.
Officials in every state have either opened eligibility to all adults or announced plans to open eligibility soon, according to CNN. Officials in five states – Hawaii, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and South Dakota – planned to expand eligibility by May 1, the news network reported.
As of Monday morning, 107.5 million Americans had received at least one dose of any of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., according to the latest data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 62.3 million people have been fully vaccinated nationwide, amounting to about 19% of the total population, according to the CDC.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed nationwide, at 30.7 million, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University. The viral infection has claimed more than 555,000 lives in the U.S. alone.
Globally, 131.9 million COVID-19 cases have been reported, causing 2.8 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.