When Louisiana opened up eligibility for coronavirus vaccines to anyone over the age of 16 starting Monday, March 29, it joined a small but growing number of states where anyone who wants to get vaccinated can get one.
Alaska was the first state to open to anyone over 16 on March 9, followed by Mississippi a week later.
This week ushered in an open season for vaccines in many other states well ahead of the May 1 deadline imposed by the Biden administration, when the president said everyone over 16 would be eligible.
West Virginia opened eligibility Monday and Utah opened Wednesday. In Arizona, residents of some state-run vaccination sites in certain counties can also get the vaccine starting Wednesday.
Other states have announced opening dates for next week. Georgia, Texas and Indiana announced on Tuesday that inoculation would be available to all permitted ages starting Thursday for residents of Georgia, Monday for residents of Texas and March 31 for residents of Indiana . North Dakota and Ohio will make the vaccine available to everyone starting March 29.
Several other states announced their opening in April on the following dates:
1er avril: Montana
5 avril: Tennessee, Michigan, Connecticut, Nevada, Idaho
9 avril: Missouri
12 avril: Illinois
19 avril: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
27 avril: Maryland
Mid-April: New Mexico
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But many other states still have restrictions based on age, occupation, and medical conditions. In terms of age, New York has recently spread to anyone over 50 with Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. The age limit is 65 and over in California, Alabama, North Carolina, and more than a dozen other states.
In all states, people of most ages can qualify if they have certain medical conditions or jobs, although qualifications vary from state to state.
In Arkansas, people with some of the medical conditions reported by the Centers for Disease Control as high risk can get the vaccine, but not all; smokers and people with Down’s syndrome are not included. In Florida, people of any age can get the vaccine with a doctor’s note.
Louisiana has taken another milestone in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: more than 10,000 people are now believed to have died from COVID-19.
Since the start of the rollout, vaccine eligibility has been a patchwork, with a different plan for each state. Whether a person may have been vaccinated depends largely on where they live.
Louisiana, a state with high rates of comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, and cancer, made almost everyone in the state eligible after it extended March 9 to people with a number of health problems. health, including a body mass index of more than 25 years. nearly three-quarters of the state.
As states open up eligibility in the hope that more people will sign up for vaccination, early expansions may be a sign that overall demand is lower in those states, said Susan Hassig, epidemiologist at the Tulane University.
“I think this is an indication that the burn rate from the vaccination has gone down a bit,” Hassig said.
But smaller states also have an easier time with the logistics of inoculating individuals and smaller elderly populations than larger states.
“With a population the size of Texas or California, they have a lot more people in those older age groups because their population is five or ten times bigger than ours,” Hassig said.
Twenty-three percent of Louisiana residents have received at least one dose and 14% are fully immunized, compared to national averages of 25% initiated vaccinations and 14% fully vaccinated.
Emily Woodruff covers public health for The Times-Picayune | New Orleans attorney as a member of the Report For America corps.