New York, Florida lower vaccination age threshold to 60

COVID-19 vaccine

The American states of New York and Florida are preparing to make COVID-19 vaccines available to people aged 60 and over, as the vaccination campaign in the United States—the world’s worst-hit country in the pandemic—accelerates.

As of March 10, New York state residents aged 60 and older will be able to be vaccinated, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing on Tuesday, though appointments continue to be difficult to obtain on government websites.

In New York, as in many other US states, the vaccines—initially reserved for caregivers and nursing home residents—are already being offered to those over 65 and to people with underlying health conditions, as well as to a growing number of workers deemed essential, such as firefighters and police.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also announced Monday that people over 60 will be eligible from March 15 to apply for the vaccine there.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given guidance at the federal level on priority populations for the vaccine, states are then free to set their own criteria.

In a decentralized country such as the United States, that means measures vary from state to state, and sometimes even within a single state.

According to the CDC, nearly 30 percent of the US population over age 65 is already fully immunized. For the population as a whole, the complete vaccination rate is 9.5 percent.

The campaign continues to gain momentum. On average, about 2.2 million people were injected daily last week, with a record 2.9 million injections in a single day on Saturday, according to a White House adviser.

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