All American adults will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19, US President Joe Biden announced.
Biden moved up the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility target for all American adults to April 19, which was earlier set as May 1. However, he warned that with new virus variants spreading "we're still in a life-and-death race" with the coronavirus.
No COVID-19 vaccine is authorized yet for children under 16, although testing is underway. Most U.S. states had already said they would open vaccines to all adults by that new target date.
The US President said that 150 million doses have been administered within his first 75 days in office, in line with a stated goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office.
He urged Americans to continue to practice pandemic safety measures, saying the country is not "at the finish line yet" and may experience more "disease and misery" before July 4.
More than 80% of teachers and school staff had received at least one vaccination shot, Biden said but noted that variants of the coronavirus are spreading and generating a rise in cases.
“We aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do. We’re still in a life-or-death race," Biden said.
A few weeks ago, Biden called on states, tribes and territories to make all American adults eligible for vaccination no later than May 1.
The country has witnessed a resurgence in 27 states, including cases from new and emerging Covid-19 variants.
The US is still the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 30,845,915 and 556,509, respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University.