By Monday, March 15, 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses will have been administered in the United States. When he took office on January 20th, President Biden pledged to hit 100 million vaccinations within his first 100 days, and he is on track to hit that milestone in less than 60 days. According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, the US averages over 2.2 million doses a day, but in many states, there are still limitations on who can get a shot. This has allowed doctors to inoculate vulnerable groups first, but now we know when everyone else can get vaccinated.
On Thursday night, hours after signing a $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law, President Biden announced that every American adult will be eligible for the vaccine by May 1. “The White House COVID-19 Response Team has concluded that our accelerated vaccination efforts will enable prioritized vaccinations to be far enough along by end of April that all eligibility restrictions for vaccinations can be lifted by May 1st,” the White House fact sheet says.
In order to facilitate the process as tens of millions of Americans become eligible for the vaccine over the next several weeks, the Biden administration plans to deliver vaccines to an additional 700 community centers, double the number of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy program, double the number of federally-run mass vaccination centers, and increase support for state and local-run community vaccination centers.
Throughout the vaccination campaign, booking an appointment has often been more difficult than finding a vaccine. Biden’s administration will address this issue by launching a website that will show you locations in your area which have vaccines available. For those without internet access, there will also be a 1-800 number to help people make appointments. Biden’s team will also provide technical support for existing websites.
The goal is to get the country “closer to normal” by July 4th, and the CDC will continue to update guidelines for those who have been fully vaccinated as the holiday approaches. In fact, one major update dropped earlier this week as the CDC said fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks, but we are still waiting on an update to the travel guidelines, which CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing this week will be announced when “we have more protection across the communities and across the population.”
“If we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, 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 and a barbeque and celebrate Independence Day,” President Biden said on Thursday night. “That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.”