March 26 (UPI) — All adults in California and Florida will be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine next month, state leaders said Thursday.
In California, residents 16 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next month, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
Newsom said the state will be able to expand eligibility by April 15 due to greater supplies of the vaccine in the coming weeks.
Currently, only those with a high chance of exposure, high-risk residents and those over 65 are eligible for the shot, according to the state’s vaccine information website.
“There’s not just light at the end of the tunnel, there’s bright light at the end of the tunnel,” Newsom said during a press conference Thursday.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said people over the age of 18 will be able to receive the vaccine on April 5. On Monday, the state will open eligibility for all adults over 40.
“Opening the vaccines to residents age 18 and older in the coming days is a huge victory for our hospitality industry, not just for our guests, but for our 1.5 million employees,” Carol Dover, president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, said in the Tallahassee Democrat.
Georgia, Indiana and Texas announced Tuesday that they will open eligibility to everyone 16 and older in the coming days and weeks based on news from the federal government of increased dosage shipments.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said he would direct governors to make all adults eligible no later than May 1.
When inaugurated, Biden vowed to inoculate 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office, a goal that was met in less than 60. On Thursday, Biden raised the goal to 200 million.
Newsom’s office said in a statement that California expects about 2.5 million vaccine doses per week in the first half of April, and 3 million during the second half.
Newsom said California has administered nearly 16 million doses, several million more than any other state and more than all but five nations.