President Joe Biden is set to announce that he’s moving up the deadline for states to make all adults in the US eligible for a Covid vaccine by almost two weeks.
Mr Biden plans to say on Tuesday that all American adults will be eligible for a shot from 19 April.
Mr Biden’s previous deadline was 1 May. He said last week that 90 per cent of adults would be entitled to get a vaccine from 19 April and that they would have a vaccination location within five miles of where they live, CNN reported.
He added that the number of pharmacies participating in the vaccination programme was more than doubling, from 17,000 to 40,000.
All 50 states have set a date for when they plan on opening up eligibility to everyone over the age of 16, and some have already taken this step.
The current plan for states like Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii and New Jersey is to expand eligibility by 1 May. It remains to be seen how Mr Biden’s announcement on Tuesday will change those plans.
Mr Biden is expected to boost the efforts of governors to meet his 1 May deadline as the reason that he can now move it up to 19 April.
The president’s plan for Tuesday is to visit a vaccination location in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. He will then give remarks on the vaccination effort from the White House.
Mr Biden entered office with the goal of administering 100 million shots in his first 100 days. Surpassing that goal, he’s now aiming for 200 million shots administered in his first 100 days.
On Tuesday, he’s expected to announce that 150 million shots have been administered within his first 75 days as president, in line with his updated goal of 200 million shots in his first 100 days.
CNN reported that Mr Biden is also planning to note that more than four million shots were given in a single 24 hour period last weekend, a new record.
The record was set at the same time as it was revealed that millions of doses were contaminated at a Baltimore plant. After over a week of negotiations, it was announced that Johnson & Johnson would be put in charge of the facility, The Washington Post reported. The owner of the plant, Emergent BioSolutions, is a large government contractor.
Mr Biden also plans to say that the US is the first country in the world to administer 150 million shots. According to Our World in Data, the US had administered over 167 million shots by Tuesday morning. China was in second place on the global list, having administered almost 143 million shots.
The president is also expected to say that over 75 per cent of adults aged over 65 have received a shot and 55 per cent of that age group has been fully vaccinated. That same number was eight per cent when Mr Biden entered the White House in January.