President Joe Biden announced during a speech Thursday night that states must make theavailable 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.
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 theinto law earlier Thursday. The package includes a for and an .
Biden last week said the US was on track to haveby the end of May, after the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. It was the third to be rolled out in the US, alongside and , both of which received emergency-use authorization in December of last year.
Here'sand how to 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.