President Biden has announced that the ‘open season’ deadline for states to make everyone eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine has been moved back to April 19. This is the latest adjustment to the vaccination timeline, reducing the wait for the general public from the original May 1 deadline. The updated deadline joins the revised goal to reach 200 million administered shots by Biden’s 100th day in office.
On March 11, President Biden directed states to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to anyone who wanted it by May 1, though multiple states have already reached ‘open season’ for their residents. Now, only weeks later, Biden updated the deadline, stating that it has been moved back to April 19.
The change joins a new milestone for the US, which reported 4 million vaccine doses administered in a 24-hour period over the past weekend. According to the CDC, more than 153,000,000 vaccine doses were administered by April 1, including more than 56,000,000 people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
During a recent speech at the White House, President Biden said:
We know what we have to do. We have to ramp up a whole of government approach that rallies the whole country and puts us on a war footing to truly beat this virus. And that’s what we’ve been doing, getting enough vaccine supply, mobilizing more vaccinators, creating more places to get vaccinated, and we’re now administering an average of 3 million shots per day, over 20 million shots a week.
In addition to making the vaccination more accessible to people who want them, the number of pharmacies participating in the government’s vaccination program will jump from 17,000 to 40,000, meaning most people won’t have to travel a long distance to get vaccinated. With the effort proving so fruitful, the White House also indicated that it won’t be long before the US will be able to distribute vaccine doses to other countries.