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International

United States Stays on Top: Highest deaths Fastest Vaccination Drive

USA is the first country to administer 150 million shots and the first country to fully vaccinate over 62 million people.

President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (Amr Alfiky/The New York Times)

The president of United States Joe Biden said on Tuesday that all age groups across United States will be eligible to be inoculated within two weeks that is by April 19. The economic powerhouse California set a June 15 target to fully reopen businesses.

United States which has reported highest number of deaths in the world is now leading in vaccination drive in the world.

Biden announced in a White House speech that he is moving up the deadline for all over 18s to be eligible for vaccines to April 19. The previous target had been May 1.

“Our vaccine program is in overdrive. We´re making it easier to get a vaccination shot,” Biden told the nation. “We´re the first country to administer 150 million shots and the first country to fully vaccinate over 62 million people.”

Biden´s April 19 deadline means ending restrictions by age, health issues or other categories for people wanting to get vaccinated.

It would not necessarily mean that anyone could get a shot immediately, as distribution remains a work in progress.

Visiting a vaccination site in Virginia earlier, Biden said that while the worst of the pandemic is “not over yet,” vaccines mean it soon could be.

The news comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state will fully reopen by June 15 if the current rate of vaccinations continues, lifting all Covid-related restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

Newsom, adding that mask-wearing requirements would remain said,

“We´ll be getting rid of the blueprint, as you know it today. That´s on June 15 if we continue the good work.”

Some 556,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, by far the highest toll reported in any country.

On Tuesday the Johns Hopkins University tracker reported 68,643 new confirmed cases and 1,105 deaths, as concern grows that people may be letting down their guard.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) meanwhile said accelerated vaccines and a flood of government stimulus spending, especially in the United States, meant it now predicts global economic growth this year of 6%, up from a forecast of 5.5% in January.

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