KEY POINTS

  • 90% of adult Americans will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-April
  • Vaccinations sites will become available within five miles of every household
  • The CDC warned of impending doom as several states lift mask mandates

President Joe Biden on Monday announced that 90% of American adults will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-April as the government sends doses to thousands of additional pharmacies nationwide. 

The federal government also is set to make vaccination sites available within five miles of every household. The number of pharmacies receiving doses would increase from 17,000 to 40,000 by April 19. 

Biden previously said that states were being directed to expand vaccine eligibility to all U.S. adults by May 1.

"For the vast, vast majority of adults, you won't have to wait until May 1," the president said. You'll be eligible for your shot on April 19,"

Vaccination sites also will receive a record 33 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine this week as part of an effort to inoculate eligible adults, Biden said. In New York, anyone age 30 and over will be eligible to receive a vaccine starting Tuesday, and all adults will be eligible on April 6, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. At least 30 other states have announced they would begin vaccinating all adults in the coming days. 

On Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of “impending doom” if people begin flouting coronavirus guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing, even as vaccines become available to more Americans. 

"I'm speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer,” Walensky said. “I'm going to lose the script, and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom."

President Biden echoed Walensky’s warning and called on governors, mayors and local leaders to maintain or reinstate mask mandates. 

“People are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing. We are giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains,” Biden said. “Please. This is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.”

“America, it's time to do even more," Biden said. "All of us have to do our part.” Europe's latest wave of infections came after outbreaks were largely brought under control and as nations prepared for mass vaccine rollouts Europe's latest wave of infections came after outbreaks were largely brought under control and as nations prepared for mass vaccine rollouts Photo: AFP / Cole Burston