President Joe Biden plans to announce Tuesday that he is moving up his goal for all adults to be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to April 19, two weeks sooner than his initial deadline of May 1.
Following a visit to a vaccination site in Virginia, Biden is also expected to tout that the United States has administered 150 million vaccine doses — the first country to reach that milestone — within his first 75 days in office. That puts the president on track to meet or exceed his accelerated goal of getting 200 million shots in arms within his first 100 days in office. According to Our World in Data, China is lagging behind in second place with a little less than 140 million shots administered. Biden had announced just last week that 90 percent of adults would be eligible for one of three approved vaccines by April 19, in addition to having a vaccination site within five miles of their home.
At least a dozen states opened eligibility to anyone over the age of 16 on Monday alone; by April 19, every state but Oregon and Hawaii are scheduled to have opened up vaccine eligibility to every adult. Those two states are currently set to meet that target May 1.
The new target comes as the U.S. is steadily ramping up its pace of daily vaccinations. The seven-day average of shots given is now sitting just above 3 million doses per day, compared with less than 1 million in January, according to CDC data. Over the weekend, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. hit 4 million doses in a 24-hour period for the first time.
Despite rising infections, deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 are continuing to drop. When asked Tuesday whether the U.S. was heading for a fourth wave of cases, Biden’s top health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci responded, “I think that the vaccine is gonna prevent that from happening.”