A U.S. Army soldier with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division immunizes Jacklina Mendez with the COVID-19 vaccine on March 9, 2021 on the north campus of Miami Dade College in North Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
The Biden government will allow a wider range of medical professionals, including dentists, veterinarians, paramedics and medical students, to administer Covid-19 shots to bring the nation closer to normal by midsummer.
The U.S. Department of Health is using its powers under the Public Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness Act to empower more health professionals and qualified students to manage the admissions, the agency said in a statement Friday.
That means dentists, paramedics, midwives, opticians, paramedics, medical assistants, podiatrists, respiratory therapists and veterinarians can start giving Covid-19 vaccines nationwide, according to HHS.
It also empowers "medical students, nursing students and other health care students in the professions listed in the PREP Act with appropriate training and professional supervision to act as vaccines," the statement said.
The move comes after President Joe Biden announced Thursday night that he would instruct all U.S. states, tribes, and territories to qualify all adults ages 18 and older for the coronavirus vaccines by May 1.
The president, during his first prime-time address to the nation on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, said the goal was for Americans to gather in small, face-to-face groups to celebrate July Fourth.
"That doesn't mean everyone gets a shot right away, but May 1st is the date that any adult can sign up to get the shot," Biden's Covid Tsar Jeff Zients said at a press conference on Friday. "We expect an adequate vaccine supply for all adults in this country by the end of May."
The US currently delivers an average of 2.2 million vaccines per day per week. About 65% of Americans age 65 and over are now vaccinated, Zients said. Only more than a quarter of adults aged 18 and over have received at least one vaccine, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We are making progress, but there is still a lot to be done," he said.
On Monday, the CDC released its first guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated. These state that they can now converse with other vaccinated individuals inside without masks or social distancing.