Biden: All adults eligible for vaccine by Apr. 19

US President Joe Biden has pushed up the government's target date to make all American adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to April 19.

In a speech at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said 150 million shots of the vaccine have been given to people since his inauguration in January.

He said that around the United States every adult aged 18 or older will be eligible to receive the vaccine by no later than April 19.

That's more than two weeks earlier than the original May 1 target date.

Vaccinations against the coronavirus began last December. Healthcare workers were the first people to receive the shots.

The program has since been expanded. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions can now receive the inoculations.

In his speech, Biden warned that virus variants are spreading and generating a rise in cases. He said, "We aren't at the finish line. We still have a lot of work to do." He urged people to wash their hands and practice social distancing.

During a question and answer session, Biden also called on those who are reluctant to be inoculated to get vaccinated now.

The US government is providing three million shots a day. More than 63 million people have been completely vaccinated. That's roughly a fifth of the population.