President Biden to push deadline for all adults to be eligible for vaccine ahead to April 19

Apr 6, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

There’s major news for all of us who love travel — and the news has gotten even better since March.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden is expected to urge states to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults by April 19 — nearly two weeks earlier than originally planned. In March, Biden had pushed for a May 1 deadline for all states to open up vaccine eligibility to all adults with July 4 in mind in order for Americans to celebrate Independence Day safely.

According to The New York Times, the “vast majority” of states have already announced plans to meet or beat the April 19 deadline. As of Tuesday, April 6, all adults aged 16 and older in New York State are eligible to register to receive the vaccine.

Related: Your guide to vaccine passports

“If we do this together, by July the Fourth, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden said during an address to the nation in March.

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A White House official said last week that the deadline has been pushed up to April 19 because of increases in shipments of the vaccines, which has led to states handing out vaccine doses more rapidly.

The president had previously suggested we wouldn’t reach the milestone that there would be enough doses for all adults until July. The Biden Administration is more concerned with vaccination infrastructure at this point than the number of vaccines. In other words: Getting shots into arms is a top priority.

The government will end up leaning more heavily on large national chains such as Walgreens and CVS in the next few weeks to achieve this ambitious goal. The number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy vaccination program will increase from the current 17,000 locations to 40,000, according to CNN.

More than three million doses of a vaccine are being given across the country each day. About 62.4 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. In total, about 207.9 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to states, territories and federal agencies.

Related: Texas and Mississippi lift most COVID-19 restrictions

Eager travelers should remember that getting the COVID-19 vaccine won’t immediately bring about a return to normalcy. Travelers will need to be mindful about scheduling their second dose, when applicable, and waiting at least a couple of weeks for the vaccine to take effect before traveling. And even being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus won’t get you out of the new testing requirement for travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad — at least, not right now.

Related: White House won’t require vaccine passports for travel

Additional reporting by Emily McNutt.

Featured image by Melodie Yvonne/Getty Images.

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