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Biden wants all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, looks up after signing the...
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, looks up after signing the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 5:49 PM CST
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(AP) - President Joe Biden used his first prime-time address on Thursday night to announce that he is directing states to make all American adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine no later than May 1.

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden announced moves to speed vaccinations, including directing that states lift qualifications for vaccinations by May 1, and expand the number of places and categories of people who can give shots. His aim: let Americans gather at least in small groups for the Independence Day holiday.

As supplies of the vaccines continue to increase, Biden announced that he will direct states and territories to make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1. The U.S. is expecting delivery of enough doses for those 255 million adults by the end of that month, but the process of actually administering those doses will take time.

Even as he offers optimism, Biden made clear that the July 4 timetable requires cooperation from Americans to continue to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and follow federal guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus in the near term. He also called on them roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.

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