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Covid-19: Biden to announce all adults in US eligible for jab by April 19

AFP/Washington
Filed on April 6, 2021
AFP

White House shifts deadline for full eligibility after rapid progress in all 50 states in the vaccine rollouts.

US President Joe Biden is set to announce Tuesday that all adults across America can get Covid-19 vaccine shots within two weeks, sooner than expected, as the IMF boosted its forecast for world economic growth this year amid signs of a rebound from the pandemic.

The White House said Biden is shifting the deadline for full eligibility up from May 1 to April 19 after rapid progress in all 50 states in the vaccine rollouts.

A senior administration official, who did not want to be identified, said the announcement would be made by the president later Tuesday.

If the target is met, this would mean an end to restrictions by age, health issues or other categories for people wanting to get coronavirus vaccines. It would not necessarily mean that anyone could get a shot immediately, as distribution remains a work in progress.

Biden was scheduled to visit a vaccination site in Virginia, just outside of Washington, on Tuesday, before delivering remarks on the topic at the White House.

As the White House prepared for the announcement, the International Monetary Fund said accelerated vaccines and a flood of government stimulus spending, especially in the US, means it now sees global economic growth this year of 6.0 percent, up from a forecast of 5.5 percent in January.

This would be a sharp reversal from the contraction of 3.3 percent in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic -- the worst peacetime downturn since the Great Depression a century ago.

"Even with high uncertainty about the path of the pandemic, a way out of this health and economic crisis is increasingly visible," IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said.

But she warned that more must be done to head off permanent economic scars in developing countries.





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