States Broaden COVID-19 Vaccine Access to Millions of Americans
At the beginning of the rollout, vaccines were available only to the most vulnerable Americans and some essential workers
WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- States are rapidly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines as they race to meet President Joe Biden's deadline to have shots for all American adults by May 1.
At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, COVID-19 vaccines were available only to the most vulnerable Americans and some essential workers. Now, three states -- Maine, Virginia, and Wisconsin -- along with Washington, D.C., have said they will open eligibility to their general population by May 1, The New York Times reported. At least six other states -- including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Montana, and Utah -- hope to do so this month or next.
Meanwhile, anyone aged 16 years or older can now get a vaccine in Mississippi and Alaska, while Arizona and Michigan have made the vaccines available to all adults in some counties, The Times reported. In Ohio, vaccines will open to anyone 40 years and older as of Friday and to more residents with certain medical conditions. Indiana extended access to people 45 years and older, effective immediately.
Coloradans age 50 years and older will be eligible for a shot on Friday, along with anyone 16 years and older with certain medical conditions, The Times reported. And Wisconsin said on Tuesday that residents aged 16 years and older with certain medical conditions would be eligible a week earlier than initially planned. On Monday, Texans ages 50 years and older and Georgians older than 55 years became eligible for vaccines.
In New York, residents aged 60 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine, and more frontline workers will become eligible on Wednesday, including government employees, building services workers, and employees of nonprofit groups. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to announce how or when the state will open eligibility to all adults.