U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday moved up the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility target for all American adults to April 19.

Biden directed states to widen vaccine eligibility to people 18 or older by April 19, two weeks earlier than the May 1 deadline he announced previously. No COVID-19 vaccine is authorized yet for children under 16, although testing is underway.

“What we do now is going to determine how many people we’ll save or lose in the month of April and May and June, before we get to July fourth,” he stated.

Biden also said that more than 80 per cent of teachers and school staff had received at least one vaccination shot, but noted that variants of the coronavirus are spreading and generating a rise in cases.

The U.S. has delivered 150 million vaccines since Biden took office.

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