Biden announces 90% of Americans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19

Biden announces 90% of Americans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19
President-elect Joe Biden rolls up his sleeve to receive a COVID-19 vaccination from nurse practitioner Tabe Mase at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital as his wife Jill Biden stands by on December 21, 2020 in Newark, Delaware.Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
  • Biden on Monday will announce that 90% of Americans will be eligible for vaccination by April 19.
  • 90% of Americans will also have a vaccine site within five miles of their home by that date.
  • Biden set a goal of ensuring all US adults are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination by May 1.

President Joe Biden announced on Monday that 90% of Americans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and will have access to vaccination sites within five miles of where they live by April 19.

The Biden administration will increase the number of pharmacies in the federal pharmacy vaccination program from 17,000 to nearly 40,000 across the the US, the White House said, and expand the number of mass vaccination sites.

In remarks on his administration's COVID-19 response and the state of vaccination in the US, Biden said a record 33 million vaccine doses would be made available to vaccine sites this week.

Biden previously set a goal of ensuring the vaccine was available to all adults in the US by May 1.

As part of the administration's effort to ramp up the rate of vaccination, Biden also announced what the White House called a "new effort to fund community organizations to provide transportation and assistance for the nation's most at-risk seniors and people with disabilities to access vaccines."


"We cannot let transportation be a barrier for any senior getting a vaccination," Biden said in his remarks. The president said millions of dollars will be provided to the Department of Health and Human Services to help with transportation to vaccine sites.

Though the president touted the progress the US has made in terms of vaccination, he simultaneously implored Americans to continue being cautious and adhere to public health recommendations.

"Until this country's vaccinated, each of us has to do our part. We have an obligation," Biden said. "Now's not the time to celebrate."

In closing, the president said, "Don't let up now, don't let up now."

Biden on Monday also called on governors who've removed mask mandates to reinstitute them.


"Please, this is not politics," he said. "Reinstate the mandate."

"We are still in a war with this deadly virus," Biden added. "This war is far from won."

As the president walked out, a reporter asked him if he believed states should pause reopening orders. "Yes," the president said in response.

Biden's comments came shortly after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky offered an impassioned plea for Americans not to let up on public health precautions while warning of a potential fourth surge in COVID-19 cases.

"I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Walensky said during the White House's COVID-19 press briefing. "We do not have the luxury of inaction. For the health of our country, we must work together now to prevent a fourth surge."


Dozens of states have seen an uptick in cases over the past few weeks.

"Right now I'm scared," Walensky said. "I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer, to get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends."