Ohio and Indiana are the latest states to announce significant expansions in Covid-19 vaccine eligibility for their residents. In Ohio, eligibility will be extended to anyone 40 years and older as of Friday, as well as for residents with certain medical conditions, including cancer, chronic kidney disease and heart disease. Indiana extended its group of eligible residents to people 45 and older, effective immediately. And Wisconsin on Tuesday said residents 16 years and older with certain medical conditions will be eligible for vaccinations a week earlier than initially planned.
President Biden has called on states to offer vaccines to all adults by May 1 and has said that the United States will have secured enough doses by the end of May for shots to be made available to them. And several states across the country have already begun expanding the criteria for vaccinations.
In Indiana, where new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased, 20 percent of the population has had at least one dose, and 11 percent is fully vaccinated, according to a New York Times analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The pace of vaccinations in both Indiana and Ohio is comparable to the national pace of vaccinations, according to a Times database.
In Ohio, as of Monday, about 21 percent of adults in the state had received at least one shot and 12 percent were totally vaccinated, according to a Times database.
Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, announced the expanded eligibility on Tuesday, as well as a goal of working up to administering 6,000 shots a day across the state in the coming days, an increase over the 1,500 shots a day he said the state is currently administering.
With the expanded criteria, Mr. DeWine said another 1.5 million Ohio residents will be eligible for the vaccine on Friday. He also said a new Federal Emergency Management Agency mass vaccination site, the Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, would handle shots for more than 200,000 people over the next eight weeks.
“I want to thank the president, President Biden, for making this site available to us,” Mr. DeWine said during a news conference on Tuesday.
New virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the state have been on the decline, according to Times data. Over the past 7 days, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland and is Ohio’s second-largest county, has had the most new cases, and public health experts gauge the risk of getting Covid-19 there as very high, based on a Times analysis. Putting a mass vaccination site in the county and on Cleveland State’s campus, he said, was a deliberate move, given its proximity to some underserved neighborhoods. Mr. DeWine said free transportation to and from the Wolstein Center would be provided.
Ohio will make vaccines eligible to all Ohio residents 16 years and older on March 29.