The White House will instruct local officials to open COVID-19 vaccinations to all adults by the start of May, President Joe Biden said in a primetime address on March 11.
“Tonight, I am announcing that I will direct all states, tribes and territories to make all adults — people 18 and over — eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1,” said Biden. “That’s much earlier than expected.”
Biden said his administration planned to beat the current US daily rate of vaccinations, which sat above two million at the time. Dangling a carrot to the public, the president said with cooperation and continued high rates of vaccination, there was a “good chance” that Americans could get together to celebrate the July 4 holiday in small numbers.
“That will make this Independence Day something truly special where we not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus,” said Biden. Credit: White House via Storyful
JOE BIDEN: When I came into office, you may recall, I set a goal that many of you said was kind of way over the top. I said I intended to get 100 million shots in people's arms in my first 100 days in office. Tonight, I can say we're not only going to meet that goal, we're going to beat that goal because we're actually on track to reach this goal of 100 million shots in arms on my 60th day in office. No other country in the world has done this-- none.
Now, I want to talk about the next steps we're thinking about. First, tonight, I'm announcing that I will direct all states, tribes, and territories to make all adults, people 18 and over, eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1. Let me say that again. All adult Americans will be eligible to get a vaccine no later than May 1. That's much earlier than expected.
Let me be clear. That doesn't mean, everyone's going to have that shot immediately, but it means you be able to get in line beginning May 1. Every adult will be eligible to get their shot. To do this, we're going to go from 1 million shots a day, that I promised in December before I was sworn in, to maintaining-- beating our current pace of 2 million shots a day, outpacing the rest of the world.
Because here's the point, if we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout at a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. That doesn't mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together after this long, hard year. That will make this Independence Day something truly special where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus.