The US has opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone aged 18 and above, a significant step towards controlling the pandemic. The move comes as the country continues to vaccinate its population at an impressive pace, with over 200 million vaccine doses administered till now.
The new eligibility criteria, which went into effect on April 19, means every adult in the US is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of age or other underlying health conditions. Experts believe this is a vital step to ensure that the US can reach herd immunity, where enough people are immune to the virus to stop its spread.
President Joe Biden made this expansion of eligibility a priority. Speaking at the White House, he hailed the achievement and urged all Americans to get vaccinated. The President said that the US is now entering a new phase in the fight against the pandemic, with the focus shifting towards meeting people where they are with vaccines and making it as easy as possible for them to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also relaxed guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, stating that they can now gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physical distancing. However, the CDC still advises fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public and observe social distancing guidelines in situations involving unvaccinated people.
The US has made remarkable progress in its vaccination campaign and is now well on track to meet President Biden’s goal of administering 200 million doses by the end of his first 100 days in office. This vaccination campaign, coupled with other measures like mask mandates and lockdowns, have contributed to a drop in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country.