- The Washington Times - Monday, March 29, 2021

President Biden said Monday he expects nine out to every 10 American adults to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine within three weeks, as states rapidly expand their immunization categories.

Mr. Biden also said 90% of adults will live within five miles of a vaccine site by April 19, citing a push to increase the number of retail pharmacies in the federal vaccination program from 17,000 to 40,000.

He said the federal government will set up a dozen more mass-vaccination sites over the coming three weeks and spend “millions of dollars” on community programs that bring vaccines to at-risk seniors.

“We know that there are a number of seniors and people with disabilities who may be isolated and may have lack of access to transportation, and there are community groups that can help,” Mr. Biden said.

The U.S. is administering an average of 2.75 million shots given per day. Even as he boasted about the pace, Mr. Biden warned the virus could surge again.

“Our work is far from over,” Mr. Biden said.“The work against COVID is far from done.”

The president chided people who’ve given up basic COVID-19 precautions, as captured in television footage of spring breakers and others.

“We’re giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains,” Mr. Biden said.

Federal officials have acknowledged they’re asking Americans to be optimistic and cautious at the same time, but they say the situation is what it is and they don’t want to see the type of surge that’s hitting Europe. 

They want people to continue to wear masks and maintain physical distance as more people get vaccinated.

Texas and five other states became the latest on Monday to make all adults eligible for the vaccine, meaning at least 15 states will offer widespread eligibility before April.

Almost all states are on track to beat Mr. Biden’s goal of making all adults eligible by May, as supply ramps up.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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