President Joe Biden announced further efforts to expand access to coronavirus vaccines as the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of the coronavirus rebounding if the nation lets down their guard.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
The president addressed the nation from the White House Monday, declaring, “if we let our guard down now, we can see the virus getting worse, not better. People are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing.”
Biden delivered a direct appeal to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they have eased them.
“Please, this is not politics, reinstate the mandate if you let it down,” he said.
Biden announced that by April 19 at least 90 percent of the adult U.S. population would be eligible for vaccination – and would have access to a vaccination site within 5 miles of home.
Quick vaccination would still depend on supply as well as overcoming some people’s hesitancy about the shots.
Biden had previously directed that all states make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1, but many have moved to lift eligibility requirements sooner in anticipation of supply increases.
Meanwhile, the White House was moving to double the number of pharmacies participating in the federal retail pharmacy program – which has emerged as among the most efficient avenues for administering vaccines – and increase the number of doses for them to deliver.
The retail pharmacies are located in close proximity to most Americans and have experience delivering vaccines like the flu shots.
Biden announced that the U.S. was expecting delivery of 33 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week — including 11 million doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.