The United States set a new record of four million COVID-19 vaccinations in a single day, while the CDC is cautioning Americans eager to return to normal that the fourth wave of infections is on the horizon.
President Joe Biden visited a vaccination site in Alexandria, Virginia, Tuesday to cheer on people getting the vaccine. In an address from the White House Tuesday afternoon, he announced all Americans ages 16 and older will be eligible to get in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccination by April 19.
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“April 19th every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a COVID vaccination,” said Biden. “By the end of May, the vast majority of adult Americans will have gotten at least their first shot.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also toured a facility in Chicago, Illinois.
“We can see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Harris while encouraging people to tell everyone they know to get vaccinated.
In Texas earlier this week, a sold-out crowd of 40,000 fans filled the Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers.
“We’ve been waiting a year for this,” said one fan at the game.
Some fans masked up while others chose not to. As Americans are eager to return to normal, the Biden administration is telling people it’s not quite time just yet.
“The war against COVID-19 is far from over, far from won,” said Andy Slavitt, White House COVID coordinator. “Do your part. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn, period.”
The CDC blames highly transmissible variants for increased cases predominately affecting young adults and children.
“We are learning that many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extracurricular activities. According to CDC guidance, these activities should be limited,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director.
On Tuesday, Indiana joined the growing list of states lifting mask mandates, leaving it up to businesses to decide whether or not to keep them in place.
“It’s the discretion of the management to decide what they want and we will like I said continue to encourage our restaurants and all of our big box stores and our grocery stores and anyone who owns a business to ask the patrons to wear a mask,” said Betsy Swearingen, director, Johnson County Health Department in Franklin, Indiana.
With nearly 20 percent of the country fully vaccinated, the CDC says the key to turning the corner in the pandemic is everyone getting their shots as soon as possible.