All US adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines

(NEW YORK) — All adults in the United States are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting Monday, with all 50 states and Washington, D.C., meeting the April 19 deadline President Joe Biden had set for opening eligibility.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last states to open eligibility to everyone age 16 and older on Monday. The April 19 deadline had been moved up from the May 1 goal Biden initially set for all adults to qualify for vaccination.

“No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions,” Biden said earlier this month.

The increased eligibility comes as the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is on pause while a federal advisory committee evaluates a possible link to a rare but severe blood clotting disorder. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, the Johnson & Johnson suspension could be lifted by Friday.

Fauci told ABC’s This Week that while he did not want to get ahead of federal regulators, he expects that when the pause lifts, experts will recommend a restriction or warning on the vaccine’s use.

In the meantime, half of adults in the United States have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 33% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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