President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he is directing all states to prioritize vaccinating school and child care employees in an effort to have schools reopened by the end of April.
Biden said that every school and child care employee should be able to access at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March. Biden added that having a fully vaccinated school staff isn’t not fully essential in reopening schools if guidance is followed.
“I am directing every state to prioritize educators for vaccination,” Biden said. “We want every educator, school staff member, and child-care worker to receive at least one shot by the end of this month. It’s time to treat in-person learning like the essential service that it is."
Meanwhile, Biden predicted that there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine to go around for all US adults by the end of May, moving up his previous goal by two months.
“Now, with our efforts to ramp up production, we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May,” Biden said.
The news came on the heels that pharmaceutical company Merck is partnering with Johnson & Johnson to make its one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which received emergency use authorization on Saturday from the FDA.
As vaccines are being administered at an increasing rate, Biden was asked when does he expect life to return to normal.
“I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure, Biden said. “But my hope is by this time next year we’re going to be back to normal, and before that is my hope.”
"Now is not the time to let our guard down,” he says of need to keep wearing masks. Governors in two states today, Texas and Mississippi, rolled back mask requirements in public. "Things may get worse again," Biden cautioned.