A bunch of outlets who received an early copy of President Joe Biden's prime time address report that he'll require all states to make all adults eligible for a vaccine by May 1.
To quote my colleague, Nathalie Graham, that means we could all be having orgies by Memorial Day.
To help move the vaccine rollout along, according to Axios, Biden plans to "expand the type of people who can administer vaccines or support vaccinations" and to deploy "more than 4,000 active duty troops to support vaccination efforts, which will bring the total number of soldiers assisting vaccinations to over 6,000."
Biden's demand would speed up Washington's vaccine timeline by quite a bit. On our current schedule, only people 50-years-old with two comorbidities and people who live in congregated facilities (homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, etc) would be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.
The concern about opening up wider populations for eligibility has always revolved around the lack of vaccine supply, scheduling issues, and foolishly/unfairly vaccinating people less vulnerable to death. To help meet those challenges, Biden plans to launch a new website and call center to make scheduling easier. (A new health-care-related website from an Obama administration official, you say?? Who else is old enough to remember...) He's also purchased 100 million more doses of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Since the vaccines arrived in Washington in December, the state has so far only managed to vaccinate 18% of the population with at least one dose, and 10% of the population with two doses.
A spokesperson for Inslee said his office only received the news "an hour ago," and they're "still looking at what all it would mean for the state’s operations."
"Presumably the administration will have more detail for states forthcoming," the spokesperson added.
In the meantime, all of us younger-than-65-types can dream of getting the jab in less than two months (!!) at the stadium, or at the clinic, or at the well-appointed hospital, and under the steady hand of a conservative nurse, or a secretly progressive soldier, or an openly bored doctor.