Moving his original eligibility deadline up from May 1, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that 90% of adults will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 19. Biden also said that a vast majority of Americans would have access to shots within five miles of their homes.

“The virus is spreading because we have too many people who, seeing the end in sight, think we’re at the finish line already,” Biden said in a speech Wednesday. “But let me be deadly earnest with you: We aren’t at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do. We’re still in a life-and-death race against this virus.”

Biden’s announcement follows several states and municipalities opening eligibility to all adults. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) released a statement the same day as Biden’s remarks saying, “With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our tier system and begin looking to fully reopen California’s economy. We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic.”

Later that evening, Biden announced that the United States has administered more than 150 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. “We’ve vaccinated more people than any other nation on Earth. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. That should give us real hope,” he said. “We can’t let it make us complacent.”


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