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All U.S. Adults Now Eligible to Receive COVID Vaccine — and Half Have Already Had at Least One Dose

The United States has reached a COVID-19 vaccine rollout milestone.

As of Monday, adults in every U.S. state, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine — meeting the target President Joe Biden set earlier this month.

Biden initially requested that all 50 states and the District of Columbia fully open up vaccine eligibility by May 1. But as most states had already opened eligibility, he moved up the date to April 19.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last states to open eligibility, doing so on Monday, according to The New York Times.

So far, more 131 million people in the United States — half of all adults — have received at least one vaccine dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared Sunday. Additionally, more than 84 million people — just under one-third of all adults — have been fully vaccinated.

Previously, Biden set a goal of providing 100 million shots during his first 100 days in office. Having surpassed that goal, the White House is now aiming for 200 million.

Although distribution of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was halted last week in all 50 states while officials investigate whether there’s a link between the vaccine and a rare blood clotting disorder, the White House does not believe the decision will make a “significant impact on our vaccination plan.”

“Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the recorded shots in arms in the United States to date,” Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, said in a statement previously shared with PEOPLE. “Based on actions taken by the President earlier this year, the United States has secured enough Pfizer and Moderna doses for 300 million Americans.”

After the decision was made to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, urged Americans who have already received the shot not to “worry very much.”

“Just as we’ve said, it is a very, very rare event,” he stressed.

Last week, federal health agencies said they had learned of six people in the U.S. developing  cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST, within two weeks of getting the shot.

The cases were isolated and statistically low — with the condition occurring in just six people out of the more than 6.8 million who have received the vaccine.

“These events appear to be extremely rare. However, COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government and we take all reports of adverse events following vaccination very seriously,” FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Currently, the United States it set to vaccinate 70 percent of its total population by mid-June, according to The New York Times

Earlier this month, Pfizer-BioNTech formally asked the Food and Drug Administration for approval to begin vaccinating children ages 12 to 15. Currently, Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for use in people ages 16 and up, while the other two vaccines currently in use in the U.S. are approved for people 18 and older.

Moderna has also been running clinical trials on vaccines in children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years old.

On Sunday, Dr. Fauci said that he expected children of all ages will be eligible for vaccination by early 2022. 

By Maria Pasquini.

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