WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced on Monday that 90% of adults will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine within the next three weeks as well as have a vaccination site within five miles of where they live.
"For the vast, vast majority of adults, you won't have to wait until May 1. You'll be eligible for your shot on April 19," Biden said. The President previously said he was directing states to open eligibility to all adult Americans by May 1.
Biden said the US would increase the number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy vaccination program from the current 17,000 locations to 40,000. He also announced a record 33 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be made available to vaccination sites this week.
The President said in the next three weeks his administration would stand up 12 more federally run mass vaccination sites. Andy Slavitt, a senior White House Covid-19 response adviser, announced earlier Monday that two new sites would be opening in Gary, Indiana, and St. Louis.
The administration will also establish a new transportation program in partnership with community organizations to get at-risk seniors and people with disabilities access to the vaccines.
The development on vaccine eligibility for American adults was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Last week, Biden announced a new coronavirus vaccine goal of 200 million vaccine doses in arms in his first 100 days in office. He cleared his initial goal -- 100 million doses of the vaccine into arms by his first 100 days in office -- on day 58 of his presidency.
The President announced on March 11 that he would order states to open up vaccine eligibility to all US adults by May 1.
Monday's announcement will come hours after administration officials charged with the federal Covid-19 response expressed worry about the current trajectory of coronavirus cases around the country.
After announcing that the US has surpassed 30 million cases of Covid-19, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a virtual White House briefing on Monday she had a feeling of "impending doom," adding that "right now, I'm scared."
"Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth, and I have to hope and trust you will listen. I'm going to pause here. I'm going to lose the script, and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Walensky said, appearing to tear up.
Walensky also said she would be speaking with governors on Tuesday to "buckle down" on states reopening too quickly.