WASHINGTON—President Biden said Tuesday that all U.S. adults should be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines by April 19, speeding up a timeline he set out last month, and he urged Americans to be patient and take precautions as the rollout continued and new variants spread.
Every state but Hawaii has said it would meet that timeline. Oregon said Tuesday that everyone over age 16 would be eligible to sign up for a vaccine on April 19. Ahead of the announcement, the Biden administration asked states if they could meet the new target for expanding eligibility, a person familiar with the conversations said.
“There is a lot of good news. But there’s also some bad news,” Mr. Biden said. “The virus is spreading because we have too many people who’ve seen the end in sight, think we’re at the finish line already. Let me be deadly earnest with you…We’re still in a life and death race against this virus.”
Mr. Biden had previously called for states and territories to make all adults eligible for the shots by May 1. He put an emphasis Tuesday on calling for seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe disease, to get vaccinated.
He also said the U.S. has surpassed 150 million shots since he took office. The pace of vaccinations has increased to an average of 3.1 million doses a day administered over the past week, from about one million doses a day when Mr. Biden took office.