(ABC4) – President Joe Biden recently announced that all states should make all adults eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1 in an address about getting the United States ‘closer to normal’ by July 4.
Utah is already one step ahead of him in this regard. On Wednesday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced that all adult Utahns will likely be able to get vaccinated by April 1.
This move makes Utah one of the first states in the nation to expand vaccine eligibility to such a wide age range. Currently, only one other state- Alaska– has opened vaccine eligibility to include anyone living or working in Alaska ages 16 and older.
Vaccine eligibility across the nation differs widely, not just among different states, but among different counties as well. For example, states like Michigan and Nevada have vaccination rollout plans that differ between different counties.
Leaders in each state seem to have their own views on which health and living conditions warrant receiving the vaccine first.
On Thursday, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced they will be extending vaccine eligibility to people ages 16 and older with specific medical conditions by the end of the Month.
Vermont has also expanded eligibility to those 16 and older with high-risk health conditions as of Thursday.
States like Hawaii seem to be taking a slower approach, having not yet lowered the age of vaccine eligibility for healthy adults below 70.
Many states, like Rhode Island, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Oregon are currently sitting at allowing those age 65 and older to receive the vaccine.
States like Ohio and Mississippi, on the other hand, have lowered the minimum age for the general population eligible for the vaccine to 50.
In Washington, people as young as 50 can receive the vaccine if they live in a multigenerational household.
Most, if not all states, extend eligibility to frontline and healthcare workers and those in younger age groups with severe health conditions.
However, with President Biden’s recent announcement, it is likely that states will begin offering eligibility to a wider population in the near future.