Not long ago, Covid-19 vaccines were only available to the most vulnerable Americans and some essential workers. This is changing rapidly as vaccine production and distribution increase, and more states are beginning to heed a call by President Biden to expand access to all adults by May.
States are also rushing to anticipate the growing number of virus variants, some of which are more contagious and possibly even more deadly. At least three states – Maine, Virginia and Wisconsin – and Washington, DC, have said they will extend the election to their general population by May 1, the deadline set by Mr. Biden determined last week. Other states – including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana and Utah – hope to do so this month or next.
In Mississippi and Alaska, everyone 16 years of age or older is eligible, and Arizona and Michigan have made the vaccines available to all adults in some counties.
Mr. Biden said last week that he was ordering the federal government to obtain an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With three vaccines now in use, Mr. Biden said the United States will receive enough doses by the end of May to make shots available to all adults.
Several countries have already expanded their eligibility for vaccinations. In Ohio, vaccines will be open from Friday for anyone 40 and older, and for more residents with certain medical conditions. Indiana expanded access to people 45 years and older, effective immediately.
In Massachusetts, residents 60 years and older, as well as people who work in small spaces and those whose regular public interaction is required will be eligible for a vaccine on March 22, the state announced Wednesday. Residents 55 years and older with certain medical conditions will be eligible on April 5, and anyone other than 16 years and older will be eligible on April 19.
Coloradans 50 years and older are eligible for a shot on Friday, along with anyone 16 years and older with certain medical conditions. Wisconsin said on Tuesday residents 16 years and older with certain medical conditions would be eligible a week earlier initially planned.
On Monday, Texans 50 and older and Georgians older than 55 were eligible for vaccinations.
In the state of New York, residents 60 years and older are eligible to receive a vaccine, and more front-line employees were eligible Wednesday, including government employees, construction workers and employees of nonprofit groups.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has not yet announced how or when the state will expand access to all adults. On Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo, 63, received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a church in Harlem, which he set up as an attempt to increase vaccination rates among black black communities.
Since vaccinations began in December, the federal government has delivered nearly 143 million vaccine doses to states and territories, and more than 77 percent have been administered, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The country achieves an average of 2.4 million shots per day, compared to well less than one million per day in January.
As of Tuesday, 65 percent of the country’s elderly population had received at least one vaccine dose, according to CDC data, with 37 percent fully vaccinated.