Joe Biden

Biden Moves Vaccine Eligibility Date for All Adults to April 19

Biden made the announcement at the White House later Tuesday following a visit to a vaccination site in Virginia

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines.

With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential, front-line workers, the president announced that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated.

The new deadline of April 19 is about two weeks earlier than Biden's original May 1 deadline.

Biden also announced that 150 million doses have been put into people's arms since his inauguration on Jan. 20. That puts the president well on track to meet his new goal of 200 million shots administered by April 30 — his 100th day in office. Biden's original goal had been 100 million shots in arms by the end of his first 100 days.

The announcement about vaccine eligibility is somewhat symbolic and comes as states already were moving up their deadlines from the original May 1 goal. It also comes as a flood of vaccine supply is being sent to states this week.

At least a dozen states opened eligibility to anyone over the age of 16 on Monday alone.

Connecticut opened access to all residents age 16 and older on April 1 and Florida opened full access to all adults ages 18 and over on April 5. Teens ages 16 and 17 are also eligible in Florida at select sites with parental or guardian approval. In Biden's home state of Delaware and in New York, all residents 16 or older can sign up to get a dose starting Tuesday, April 6.

Maryland will start vaccinating anyone 16 and older starting on April 12, with California following on April 15. Meanwhile, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., have all previously announced vaccination eligibility would expand to all adults on April 19. Virginia is opening up vaccine registration to all resident starting on April 18.

In Illinois, the vaccine eligibility rollout is piecemeal. Counties with low vaccine demand are currently allowed to expand eligibility to all residents 16 and older. However, starting April 12, all Illinois residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to get a shot, but not in Chicago.

A handful of states, including Hawaii, still have May 1 as the deadline. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday ahead of Biden's speech that all residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19.

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The president had announced just last week that 90% of adults would be eligible for one of three approved vaccines by April 19, in addition to having a vaccination site within 5 miles of their home.

But eligibility isn't the same as actually being vaccinated. People still have to make appointments to be vaccinated.

The White House said Monday that nearly 1 in 3 Americans and over 40% of adults have received at least one shot, and nearly 1 in 4 adults is fully vaccinated. Among older people, 75% have now received at least one shot, and more than 55% of them are fully vaccinated.

CNN was first to report on Biden's planned announcement.

The Associated Press/NBC
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