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President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States will be able to drastically move up its vaccination timeline, announcing that the nation will have enough vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of May.
During a briefing on the administration's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Biden said that the nation has made "important progress" on vaccine distribution.
"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, a significant move forward from the administration's previous timeline from the end of July.
However, Biden, 78, said that this does not mean that all American adults will actually receive a shot by the end of May.
"But it's not enough to have the vaccine supply. We need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people's arms, millions of Americans' arms," he noted.
As part of the president's push to reopen schools, Biden also announced that he would be directing states to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K through 12 educators and staff and child-care workers.
"So as yet another move to help accelerate the safe reopening of our schools, let's treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is," he said.
While Biden said "not every educator will be able to get their appointment in the first week" of March, he called for every teacher and child-care worker to receive at least one dose of a vaccine by the end of the month.
Though the president said the nation is "moving in the right direction," he urged the public to continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 safety precautions.
"I have to be honest with you: This fight is far from over...Though we celebrate the news of the third vaccine, I urge all Americans: Please keep washing your hands, stay socially distanced, wear masks—keep wearing them, get vaccinated when it's your turn. Now is not the time to let up," he said.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now or assure that victory is inevitable. We can't assume that," he added. "We must remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively, and look out for one another. That's how we're going to get ahead of this virus, get our economy going again, and get back to our loved ones."
As of Wednesday morning, there have been more than 28.7 million cases of COVID-19 and at least 515,710 deaths in the U.S., according to data from the New York Times.
Currently, there are about 1.74 million doses of varying coronavirus vaccines being administered each day.
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