All adults ages 16 and up in the United States are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, meeting the April 19 deadline set by President Biden last month. That critical milestone comes as the White House announced on Sunday that half of all US adults—about 128 million people—have received at least one dose of the vaccine, yet another stat that captures how quickly the rate of vaccinations in the US has ramped up in recent weeks. That pace is particularly striking when compared internationally; earlier this month, CNN reported that the US was vaccinating people at five times the global average.
But significant challenges persist. Vaccines are going unused in large pockets across the country, particularly in regions with strong evangelical communities. Almost half of Republicans, according to a poll released last week, say they will decline to receive the vaccine if possible. As I wrote last week, all this resistance poses a real threat to the US ever achieving herd immunity as highly contagious COVID variants continue to spread.
Still, the expansion of vaccine eligibility today is a real success for the Biden administration. To anyone 16 and over who had been waiting to get the jab, get out there!