President Biden is bumping up his deadline by two weeks for states to make all adults in the U.S. eligible for COVID vaccines. But even as he expressed optimism about the pace of vaccinations, health officials warn the nation is not out of the woods yet.
“In every part of this country every adult over the age of 18, 18 or older will be eligible to be vaccinated,” the President said. “No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions.”
Vice President Kamala Harris expressed optimism while touring a vaccine facility in Chicago Tuesday.
“We can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” the Vice President said.
Nearly 42 percent of all adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 80 percent of all teachers, school staff and childcare workers.
Indiana recently joined a growing number of states easing restrictions and lifting mask mandates.
Still health officials urge caution, fearful of a possible fourth wave.
But according to data from John Hopkins University, nearly half of the nation’s new COVID-19 cases are concentrated in just five states.
New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey accounted for 44 percent of all new infections between March 29 and April 4.
The Centers for Disease Control blames highly transmissible variants that are affecting mostly young adults and children as well as youth participation in sports and other group activities.
“We are learning that many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. According to CDC guidance, these activities should be limited.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday the federal government will not require Americans to have so-called vaccine passports to prove they have received shots. The governors of Florida and Texas have signed executive orders banning vaccine passports.