Biden to states: Open vaccine eligibility to all adults by May — 5 speech takeaways

President Joe Biden called on all states, tribes and territories to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1 during his first prime-time address March 11, marking the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That means everyone would be able to get in line and sign up for their shot, not that everyone would be vaccinated by that date, President Biden clarified. 

Four more takeaways from the speech: 

1. The country aims to maintain or exceed the pace of administering 2 million vaccine doses per day, President Biden said. To do so, active duty military, FEMA, retired healthcare workers and others will be called on to increase the number of those administering the vaccine. The government also plans to create more places to get vaccinated, including 600 federal vaccine centers.

2. In May, the government will launch "new tools to make it easier for you to find the vaccine and where to get the shot, including a new website that will help you first find the place to get vaccinated and the one nearest you," President Biden said. 

3. More CDC guidance regarding what activities are safe once fully vaccinated is coming, President Biden said. The guidance is expected to address travel, workplaces and houses of worship. The CDC issued its first recommendations for fully vaccinated people March 8, saying it's safe to gather in small groups with other households without masks or social distancing once fully vaccinated. 

4. "There's a good chance," a sense of normalcy could return by July 4, the President said, adding that it will be safe for small groups to gather and celebrate Independence Day. "That will make this Independence Day truly something special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we began to mark our independence from this virus."

More articles on public health:
March 11, 2020: A look at how the COVID-19 pandemic evolved in the US
COVID-19 death rates by state: March 12
CDC still urges vaccinated individuals not to travel

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