New York Makes People 50 And Older Eligible For Covid-19 Vaccine on Tuesday


West Virginia on Monday became the third state to open Covid-19 vaccination to all adults and New York expanded eligibility as state governments try to meet President Biden’s request to open access to all adults by May 1.

West Virginia joined Alaska and Mississippi on Monday in making everyone older than 16 eligible, while Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said residents older than 50 could sign up for a shot starting on Tuesday.

Tennessee announced that all residents 16 and older would be eligible for vaccination starting April 5, joining a growing list of states that have announced plans to meet or beat Mr. Biden’s goal of May 1.

“Tennessee will beat that deadline,” Gov. Bill Lee said on Monday. He also said that all residents 55 and older as well as those who work in critical infrastructure industries could make vaccine appointments immediately.

The governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, said the state’s senior population would continue to be prioritized for vaccines, but he encouraged all residents 16 years and older to get in line. The state has had a successful vaccination program from the start, and as of Sunday, at least 26 percent of the total population had received at least one shot, according to a New York Times analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nationally, about 25 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one shot, and the pace of vaccinations has been steadily increasing: An average of about 2.49 million shots are given daily, compared with under one million two months ago.

Mr. Cuomo has not set a timeline for broadening vaccine eligibility to all adults, but New York has been gradually expanding as more vaccine supply has become available. As of Sunday, 26 percent of New York State’s total population had received at least one shot of a vaccine, while 13 percent had been fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times database.

The state currently allows everyone 60 or older to get vaccinated, as well as a number of essential workers and people with certain health conditions that make them more susceptible to serious illness from the virus.

Last week, New York also began to allow public-facing government employees, nonprofit workers and essential building service workers to receive inoculations.

On Sunday, Mr. Cuomo announced that pharmacies would be able to vaccinate adults with certain underlying health conditions; they were previously limited to inoculating older adults and teachers.

Other states have also broadened eligibility at specific vaccination sites. Arizona announced on Monday that beginning Wednesday, all residents 16 and older could get vaccinated at state-operated locations in Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties.


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