Biden expected to announce all adult Americans will be eligible for vaccine by May 1

By Lauren Frias

All adult Americans will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1.

President Joe Biden is expected to announce during a primetime address Thursday night that he will direct states, tribes, and territories to make all adults in the US eligible for the vaccine "no later than May 1," according to a senior administration official.

"That doesn't mean everyone will get a shot immediately, but May 1 is the day every adult will be eligible to sign up to get the first shot," a senior administration official said.

The official added the new expedited timeline "reflects our success working with the vaccine manufacturers to increase supply and secure doses for all adult Americans as well as our efforts to significantly increase the pace of shots in arms."

The news comes after the president announced earlier this month the US will have enough vaccine doses for "every adult in America" by the end of May.

Biden is also set to announce during his primetime address his administration will double the number of pharmacies where vaccines are available, making the vaccine "available at more than 20,000 pharmacies across America," and double the number of federal mass vaccination centers, according to the senior administration official.

The administration will also instruct pharmacies to expand mobile operations and deploy thousands more troops to help support vaccination efforts. The Department of Health and Human Services will also launch a website to help Americans find vaccination sites in their area and schedule appointments.

"The fight is far from over. We still have a lot of work to do," the president is set to say in his speech Thursday. "But together, unified, we can defeat this pandemic and we can all celebrate a more normal Fourth of July with families and friends."

While the president does not recommend large gatherings for Fourth of July events, he will encourage "small gatherings like a barbecue in your backyard in your neighborhood."

"But it does mean that we can once again have an Independence Day with small gatherings and celebrations, and that's a big step in the right direction," a senior administration official said. "We believe that, if we do our part, we will be in a much better place by Independence Day, and we can start to resume more of our normal activities."