Biden Directs States To Make All Adults Eligible For Vaccines By May 1

by Christina Marfice
Alex Wong/Getty

Biden has officially asked states to open up eligibility for COVID vaccines to all adults by May 1

In recent weeks, efforts to distribute COVID vaccines in the U.S. have been picking up serious steam. The Biden Administration has made a number of exciting deals and announcements, including brokering a deal for rival pharmaceutical companies to work together to produce shots, and now, there’s even more hope: The administration has officially directed states to open up eligibility for all adults by May 1.

In his first primetime address about the pandemic, Biden marked one year since the outbreak of the coronavirus was declared a global health emergency. “A collective suffering, collective sacrifice, a year filled with a loss of life and a loss of living for all of us,” he noted.

He also announced the May 1 goal, clarifying that not all adults will be able to receive their vaccines by that date, but that by then, everyone should be able to get a spot in line. He promised to send more vaccine doses to pharmacies and open more federally run mass vaccination centers to increase the speed at which shots are administered in all states. He also promised to create programs to train more people to administer doses, including dentists, paramedics, veterinarians, medical students, and others.

With that goal, Biden also set another one: On July 4th, he hopes that America can mark its independence from the virus.

“We will make this Independence Day truly special,” he said, adding that with enough vaccines administered by then, we can “not only mark our independence as a nation, but mark our independence from this virus.”

“No other country in the world has done this. None,” he said of U.S. vaccine progress.

However, Biden also stressed the need for Americans to stay vigilant in the meantime — to continue wearing masks and social distancing to slow the spread while vaccines are administered. He once again compared efforts to tamp down the virus’s spread to wartime organization, saying, “I need every American to do their part. That’s not hyperbole, I need you. I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity to help your family, your friends, your neighbors, get vaccinated as well.”

Even though we’ve made progress, the president is sure to remind us we still have a ways to go. “But to get there, we can’t let our guard down. This fight is far from over,” he said. “… On July 4 with your loved ones is the goal.”

This exciting announcement comes just days after Biden made another one: That the U.S. has secured another 100 million doses of COVID vaccines, and that when those doses arrive (by the end of May), the country will have more than enough supply to give a shot to every adult who is willing to get one. There truly is, finally, a light at the end of the tunnel.