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Biden calls for teacher vaccinations; Texas & Mississippi lift mask mandates

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(NBC News) -- President Joe Biden is asking states to guarantee at least one shot to every educator by the end of this month.

The president on Tuesday announced that pharmaceutical maker Merck, under the Defense Production Act, will manufacturer Johnson & Johnson's single dose COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to boost the amount of vaccine available, and that he expects to have enough vaccine for every American adult who wants a shot by May.

"The more people who get vaccinated, the faster we're going to overcome this virus," President Biden said.

Meanwhile, health experts fear some areas are moving too fast as they lift pandemic restrictions.

Mississippi and Texas are getting rid of mask mandates and reopening retail at 100% capacity.

"Personal vigilance to follow the safe standards is still needed to contain COVID. It's just that state mandates are no longer needed," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Experts disagree.

"We think it's a mistake for us to take our foot off the gas on wearing masks right now," said Senior White House COVID Advisor Andy Slavitt.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will announce on Wednesday guidelines for the 25 million people who've been fully vaccinated.

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