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Biden wants all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by May 1

The administration plans to increase vaccination distribution and expand the number of sites administering the vaccine.

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- 02:23
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President Joe Biden urges Americans to stay vigilant in the battle against COVID-19.

Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden announced during a speech Thursday night that states must make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all eligible adults by May 1. The speech outlined plans to ramp up vaccination distribution and expand the number of sites administering the vaccine. 

Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated in his speech, delivered a year to the day after the pandemic forced Americans into isolation to reduce the spread of disease, which has already killed more than 500,000 in the US.

"I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn and when you can find an opportunity," Biden said, adding that "there's a good chance" small gatherings could take place by the Fourth of July.

"After this long, hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus," he said. "But to get there, we can't let our guard down." 

The administration said it's more than doubling the number of federally run mass vaccination centers and will double the number of pharmacies participating in the federal mass vaccination program, making the vaccine available at more than 20,000 pharmacies. Mobile operations in the hardest hit communities will also be expanded.

The administration also said it plans to launch a website that will show people where vaccines are locally available. It also plans to create a telephone help line for those without internet access.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine website will help Americans find a shot: What we know today

Cautioning that conditions could deteriorate as new variants spread, Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated, wash their hands and wear a mask.

"If we don't stay vigilant and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track," he said. "We've made so much progress. This is not the time to let up."

Biden's address came after the president signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law earlier Thursday. The package includes a third stimulus check for up to $1,400 and an expanded child tax credit.

Read more: Hunting for a leftover COVID-19 vaccine? How to find a spare dose near you 

Biden last week said the US was on track to have enough doses of COVID-19 vaccine for every adult in America by the end of May, after the Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine for emergency use. It was the third coronavirus vaccine to be rolled out in the US, alongside Pfizer's and Moderna's, both of which received emergency-use authorization in December of last year.

Here's where to get a COVID-19 shot and how to track how many vaccines are available in your state.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.