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See Which States Have Opened Up COVID Vaccine Eligibility to All Residents Over Age 16
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout now moving steadily along and millions now vaccinated against the virus, some states now have enough supply to start opening up their eligibility to all residents over the age of 16.
As of March 22, two states — Alaska and Mississippi — are now allowing any residents 16 and older to sign up to receive one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine from Pfizer is approved for people age 16 and up, and those from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are approved for people 18 and up.
Opening up vaccination appointments to all adult residents is a major step in the vaccine rollout. In the rest of the U.S., vaccine eligibility varies by state, with some limiting the vaccines to people with certain pre-existing conditions or with jobs that put them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, like health care workers. Some states have allowed restaurant workers to get vaccinated, while others have yet to make them eligible, despite their high risk.
Along with Alaska and Mississippi, the governors of several more states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan, have announced their intention to open up vaccine eligibility to all adult residents in the coming weeks.
President Joe Biden has asked all states to open up their vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1.
As of March 22, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, 82,772,416 people, have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control says. Of that group, 13.5%, or 44,910,946 people, are fully vaccinated against the virus.
The country is dealing, though, with hesitancy from some Americans who are eligible for the vaccine but have yet to make an appointment.
"We need millions more to get vaccinated," Biden said in a speech on Thursday, explaining that wider participation is needed to end the pandemic.
Biden emphasized that vaccines will help end the pandemic, noting that some states are seeing a rise in cases as newer variants spread through the country.
"Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants," he said.