One year after the nation was brought to a near-standstill by the coronavirus, President Joe Biden used his first prime-time address Thursday night to announce his plan to make all adults vaccine-eligible by May 1 and “begin to mark our independence from this virus” by the Fourth of July. He offered Americans fresh hope and appealed anew for their help.

Speaking in the White House East Room, Biden announced moves to speed vaccinations, including lifting eligibility qualifications, deploying an additional 4,000 active-duty troops to support vaccination efforts and allowing more people — such as medical students, veterinarians and dentists — to deliver shots.

He is also directing more doses toward some 950 community health centers and up to 20,000 retail pharmacies, to make it easier for people to get vaccinated closer to their homes.

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