Connecticut and Kansas on Monday joined a growing list of U.S. states planning to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by or before the start of May.
“We are accelerating the age-based deployment of Connecticut to proceed faster than expected,” Governor Ned Lamont said on Monday, given expectations that the northeastern state would receive “an increased supply” of Covid vaccines -19 over the next few weeks.
The Democratic governor said that on March 19, residents between the ages of 45 and 54 can schedule appointments for their first shot, and that April 5 is now set as the “tentative” date on which eligibility will be offered to people aged 16 and over.
Laura Kelly, Governor of Kansas, announced that the state is also speeding up its vaccination schedule to make residents aged 16 and older eligible for their first vaccine before May 1.
The Southern State, on March 22, will reduce its vaccination schedule by opening eligibility to Kansans who have qualified in either Phase 3 or Phase 4 of the state’s deployment. The combined group includes residents aged 16 to 64 with serious or “other” medical risks and critical workers.
The Democratic governor said the plan then was to move to the final fifth phase of vaccine deployment, which includes the rest of the population aged 16 and over, by May 1.
President Joe Biden said last week that he wants every state in the country to open vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1. Mississippi and Washington, DC, announced earlier today plans to accelerate its deployments to meet that target date, while Alaska and Michigan announced last week that they plan to open vaccinations to their adult populations before the beginning of May.
According to data released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 109 million shots have been fired into the arms of Americans and 11.5 percent of the nation’s population is now fully vaccinated.
Connecticut has fully vaccinated 14.3% of its population, according to CDC figures, the 7th highest proportion in the United States and compared to a state average of 12.4%. Kansas ranks 38th in the country with 11.3% of residents fully vaccinated.