Alaska opens vaccines to all residents 16+; New York lowers age to 60 — 5 state updates

As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. continues to accelerate — with about 2.15 million doses administered daily — numerous states are expanding eligibility, reports The New York Times.

Five things to know: 

1. Alaska has opened vaccine eligibility to all residents or workers older than 16, the first state to do so, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said March 9. Sixteen percent of Alaska residents are fully vaccinated, the highest rate in the country, according to the Times database.  

2. New York has lowered its age threshold from 65 to 60 for vaccine eligibility, joining 11 other states that have opened vaccinations up to those younger than 65 statewide, according to the Times database. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would lower the threshold March 10, citing expected supply increases from the federal government. New York is also set to open vaccine eligibility further March 17 to a large number of public-facing workers. 

3. Minnesota will expand vaccine eligibility to more than 1.8 million residents this week, including people 45 and older with at least one underlying medical condition, Gov. Tim Walz said March 9. The new eligibility standards will also include essential workers in industries like food service and public transit. Minnesota is on track to reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of residents 65 and older this week, Mr. Walz said.

4. Ohio residents 50 and older will be eligible to get a vaccine this week, Gov. Mike DeWine said March 8. People with certain medical conditions who haven't yet qualified for a vaccine will also be eligible.

5. South Carolina residents 55 and older, along with those older than 16 experiencing high-risk medical conditions, are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Henry McMaster said March 8.

As of March 9, 18.4 percent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose, while 9.7 percent have received two, according to the CDC.

More articles on public health:
Dozens pretend to be healthcare workers, get COVID-19 vaccine in Florida: FEMA
Houston reports uncontrolled community spread of UK variant
78% of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the US overweight or obese, CDC finds


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