Biden says 90% of US adults will be eligible for vaccine within three weeks

'Now is not the time to celebrate,' president says as cases are again on the rise

Joe Biden addresses the US after Covid-19 cases increase

Joe Biden addresses the US after Covid-19 cases increase
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US President Joe Biden struck a positive and cautious tone on Tuesday at the White House while updating Americans on the vaccination programme.

Mr Biden said 90 per cent of adults in the US will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine by April 19, beating the timetable he requested from governors to open up eligibility by May 1.

He said nearly all adults will have at least one location where they can receive a dose of vaccine within 8 kilometres of their home some time in the next three weeks.

He said the country was making leaps and bounds in securing enough vaccine doses for the adult population.

Mr Biden referred to a record three-day stretch of 10 million injections at the weekend, moving towards his new goal of having 200 million doses administered within his first 100 days.

"We will administer more shots in March than any country on Earth," he said.

The Biden administration is also funding a transport programme for at-risk seniors and people with disabilities to safely arrive to vaccination sites.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention  say at least 15 per cent of people have been fully vaccinated, while at least 28 per cent have had at least one dose.

“Look at what we have done in the last 10 weeks. No other country has come close,” Mr Biden said.

But he said people must keep their guards up, as figures show coronavirus cases are on the rise after decreasing dramatically from the worst surge in the winter.

Hospital admissions and deaths are also slightly increasing, while several states are taking steps to reopen or boost indoor capacity for businesses.

"The war against Covid-19 is far from won," Mr Biden said. "This is deadly serious."

His message of continued caution echoed that from health agency chief Dr Rochelle Walensky, who expressed a "recurring feeling I have of impending doom" during a White House Covid-19 Task Force briefing Monday morning.

Mr Biden called on local leaders and state governors who have removed laws requiring face masks to reimpose them.

He said states should delay lifting restrictions in light of the new information on rising cases.

The US is nearing 550,000 deaths from Covid-19, the highest toll for any country.

The nation has also recorded at least 30 million coronavirus cases, also the world's highest.