Washington, April 7 : President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that all adults across America will be eligible for Covid-19 shots within two weeks, while economic powerhouse California set a June 15 target to fully reopen businesses.
The positive news from the United States — which has reported the most coronavirus deaths of any country but is now a leader in the vaccine rollout — contrasted with a record daily toll in Brazil and Europe’s troubled rollout of the AstraZeneca shot.
Biden announced in a White House speech that he is moving up the deadline for all over 18 to be eligible for vaccines to April 19. The previous target had been May 1.
“Our vaccine program is in overdrive. We’re making it easier to get a vaccination shot,” Biden told the nation. “We’re the first country to administer 150 million shots and the first country to fully vaccinate over 62 million people.”
Biden’s April 19 deadline means ending restrictions by age, health issues or other categories for people wanting to get vaccinated. It would not necessarily mean that anyone could get a shot immediately, as distribution remains a work in progress.
Visiting a vaccination site in Virginia earlier, Biden said that while the worst of the pandemic is “not over yet,” vaccines mean it soon could be.
“Get one quickly. That’s how we’re going to beat this,” he said.