© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus vaccination center at NYCHA residential complex in Brooklyn
By Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Tuesday raised the target for the approval of COVID-19 vaccines for all American adults to April 19, but warned that as new virus variants spread, “we are still.” are in a race for life and death “. with the coronavirus.
Biden directed states to extend vaccination eligibility to those aged 18 and over by April 19, two weeks before the May 1 deadline he previously announced. A COVID-19 vaccine is not yet approved for children under the age of 16, although tests are currently being conducted.
Most US states had already announced that they would open vaccines to all adults by this new target date.
“What we do now will determine how many people we will save or lose in April, May and June before we reach July fourth,” Biden said at an event at the White House.
More than 80% of teachers and school staff would have received at least one vaccination shot, Biden said, but noted that variants of the coronavirus are spreading and, in some cases, causing an increase.
“We are not on target. We still have a lot to do. We’re still in a life or death race, “said Biden.
He said that by April 19 at the latest, every adult aged 18 and over will be eligible for the vaccination.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden’s announcement confirmed to the public that “everyone across the country is eligible”.
This means Americans no longer have to check state and local websites to see if they qualify, she said.
“No more confusing rules,” said Biden.
In the race to vaccinate more people, vaccine supply and the efficiency of uptaking gunshots have increased significantly as more contagious variants of the virus circulate.
Biden spoke after touring a vaccination center at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.
“Governors – Democrats and Republicans – are working with (the White House COVID-19 Response Team) to accelerate the vaccination program,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on Twitter.
When vaccine doses were shorter, states initially limited distribution to high-risk groups such as the elderly and frontline health workers, and then gradually opened vaccines to other age groups and risk groups.
When Biden took office in January, his goal was to shoot 100 million shots in people’s arms within his first 100 days in office at the end of April. That goal has since doubled to 200 million.
COVID-19 has killed more than 555,000 people in the United States – the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world. However, more than 167 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the country. Four in ten Americans had at least one vaccine dose, a rate well ahead of most countries.
The approved vaccines from Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 and Pfizer / BioNTech both require two doses, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 is a one-shot vaccine. The Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 Vaccine is approved for people aged 16 and over, while the other two can be given for adults aged 18 and over.
The distribution of US vaccines began sluggishly under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.
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