Coronavirus latest: Portugal the latest EU country to pause Oxford/AstraZeneca shots


Connecticut and Kansas on Monday joined a growing list of US states planning to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by or before the start of May.

“We are accelerating Connecticut’s age-based rollout to proceed on quicker schedule than originally planned,” Governor Ned Lamont said on Monday, given expectations the northeastern state would receive “an increased supply” of Covid-19 vaccines over coming weeks.

The Democrat governor said that on March 19, residents between 45 and 54 years old can schedule appointments for their first shot, and April 5 is now set as the “tentative” date when eligibility will be offered to those aged 16 years and older.

Laura Kelly, Kansas governor, announced the state was also speeding up its vaccination timeline to make residents aged 16 years and older eligible for their first vaccine shot by May 1.

The southern state, on March 22, will compress its vaccination timeline by opening eligibility to Kansans who qualified in phase 3 or phase 4 of the state’s rollout. The combined group includes residents aged 16 to 64 with either severe or “other” medical risks and critical workers.

The Democrat governor said the plan was then to move to the final, fifth phase of the vaccine rollout, which includes the rest of the population aged 16 and older, by May 1.

President Joe Biden last week said he wants every state in the country to have opened up vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1. Mississippi and Washington, DC, earlier today announced plans to speed up their rollouts in an effort to meet that target date, while Alaska and Michigan said last week they planned to have opened up vaccinations to their adult populations before the start of May.

According to data on Monday from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 109m shots have been put in the arms of Americans and 11.5 per cent of the country’s population has now been fully vaccinated.

Connecticut has fully vaccinated 14.3 per cent of its population, according to CDC figures, the 7th-highest proportion in the US and compared to a state average of 12.4 per cent. Kansas ranks 38th in the country with 11.3 per cent of residents fully vaccinated.

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