Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials 8 April

The White House

Via Teleconference

10:33 A.M. EDT

ACTING ADMINISTRATOR SLAVITT: Good morning. Thank you for joining us.

Yesterday afternoon, President Biden delivered a report to the nation on the progress of our vaccination program and our fight against this pandemic.

As the President communicated, our job is to bring the public the truth — both the good news and the bad news. And we’re in a period when there’s a fair amount of both. We’re making real progress even amidst continued challenges.

First, there’s good news to report: The President announced yesterday that all adult Americans will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19. This is ahead of the original May 1st timeline that he set about — that he set last month. So this means that there is no better time for seniors who haven’t been vaccinated to get their shot now.

At this point, over 76 percent of seniors have had at least their first shot. If you know a senior who has not yet had the opportunity to get a shot, consider helping them arrange that opportunity and see what help they need. A number of seniors live alone and may need transportation or other help. The good news is there are more and more locations in more places available for them.

President Biden also announced that we crossed 150 million shots in just 75 days of his administration.

We also have progress to report in our effort to open schools safely. At the beginning of March, the President directed states and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to prioritize the vaccination of teachers, school staff, and childcare workers during the month of March.

As the President announced yesterday, as of the end of March, the latest CD esti- — CDC estimates show that almost 80 percent of pre-K through 12th grade teachers, school staff, and childcare workers received at least one shot.

And today, the Department of Education released the latest round of data from its own ongoing survey on the impact of COVID-19 on K through 8th grade students and the state of school reopening in the nation.

This is encouraging early data — covering the month of February — and shows progress toward the President’s goal to have K through 8th grade schools open five days a week.

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