President Joe Biden issued an update on vaccines moving forward on Thursday, as he instructed all 50 states to make COVID-19 vaccines available to every adult by May 1. Biden also set a benchmark of July 4 to get closer to normal in reopening the country.
While this does not mean everyone will be able to get the vaccine on May 1, everyone will be able to sign up via their county health portal or other means like pharmacies or through preferred providers. Currently, most states are still in the 1-C phase of vaccination, which includes people 65 and older, those with underlying health conditions that could put them at-risk if they contract the virus, and frontline workers who are exposed to COVID-19 daily.
On Monday, the state of Texas will move into phase 1-C, which will allow all adults 50 and older to sign up for the vaccine. On Wednesday, Texas permitted all businesses to open 100 percent amid vaccine numbers climbing steadily coupled with the number of cases and hospitalizations in a steady decline. As of now, 16.9 percent of the population in Texas has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 9 percent of the population is considered fully vaccinated according to the New York Times.
On the heels of the announcement, the Texas Rangers announced that their stadium will operate at full capacity for the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Masks will be required when there is no eating or drinking. Globe Life Field, the Rangers stadium which opened in 2020, will seat approximately 41,000 fans. The Rangers are the first sports team in North America to fully announce that their stadium will have 100% capacity for the season. Globe Life Field did not have fans during the regular season, but hosted the 2020 MLB playoffs including the World Series.
With more vaccines becoming available by the day and the president’s initiative to get all adults available for a vaccine by May 1, the return to normal is becoming more and more of a reality as these measures begin to set in. While we are not completely there yet, there are positive signs that the COVID-19 pandemic is on its final downturn.
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