Some States Open Vaccine Eligibility For All, But It Is Weeks Away For Others

Some States Open Vaccine Eligibility For All, But It Is Weeks Away For Others

A youngster was aimlessly wandering over Twitter. Unexpectedly, he came across a tweet from the Mississippi Governor. It announced that from the next day, vaccination will be available to all the residents of the State. Mississippi is one among the five States where everyone above the age of 16 is eligible for the coronavirus vaccination.

Some States Open Vaccine Eligibility For All, But It Is Weeks Away For Others

The youngster who found the tweet wasted no time. He dialed the Mississippi State Department of Health in a bid to book an appointment. After a bit of struggle, he managed to secure an appointment online.

Some States Open Vaccine Eligibility For All, But It Is Weeks Away For Others

The process of vaccination took just 20 minutes. And he became one among the youngest people to receive the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. This is the one the country has approved for use for people 16 years old and above. The other two vaccines are allowed only for those above 18 years of age.

Alaska is the first State that stopped prioritizing certain sections of the society. There, vaccination is open to every single person above 16 who lives and works in the State.

The youngster named McGee is surprised that his is the second State to do so.
Lots of negative attributes surround Mississippi. Its inferior healthcare sector, history of racism and the high poverty rate are things of great concern. Still, this expansion of vaccine eligibility is something it should celebrate.

Alaska opened up vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 years or above on March 9th. Mississippi followed suit on March 16th. West Virginia did this on March 22nd followed by Utah and state-run sites in certain counties in Arizona on March 24th. In the State of Oklahoma, people above 16 years of age can get vaccinated through the Chickasaw Nation’s vaccination program. The State has not yet opened up in the matter. Texas and Georgia are the next to join the bandwagon. They announced on Tuesday that they will expand vaccination eligibility to anyone 16 and above by the end of March.

Here is a timeline of different States in the matter as per the analysis of a news channel:

  • Georgia: March 25
  • Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, North Dakota and Louisiana: March 29
  • Indiana: March 31
  • Montana: April 1
  • Connecticut, Michigan, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa and Nevada: April 5
  • Missouri: April 9
  • Illinois: April 12
  • Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island: April 19
  • Maryland: April 27
  • New Mexico and Virginia: April, no specific date
  • Wisconsin, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington: May 1
  • South Carolina: May 3
  • California, Nebraska, Kansas, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Delaware: May or afterwards

Some other States are concerned about the shortage of vaccines. And they are planning a phased rollout strategy.

The State of Connecticut, for instance, began with frontline healthcare staff and the inmates and employees of long-term care facilities.  From there, it moved to include certain age-groups, 75 and above. It then progressed to include those above 45 and older. The State announced that those above 16 and older will become eligible to receive vaccines by April 5th. According to the State, the increasing supply of vaccine doses from the federal government and the efficiency with which vaccine providers took them to the arms of the people are the factors that enabled it to expedite its distribution. As per the State of Utah, it will expand vaccine eligibility when demand in the priority group becomes less based on the data the vaccine providers publish. Last week, some of the providers in the State reported a 15% reduction of demand for the same in the priority group. Thus they were able to expand its eligibility to 16 and above.

There exists a huge disparity among States in this regard. This is the result of the difference in demand and supply.