Mainers 16 and up eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on April 7

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine is opening up eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to all state residents age 16 or older in a few days.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that eligibility will expand on April 7. The state had been planning to open eligibility to everyone 16 years of age or older on April 19.

The state previously started offering the vaccine for everyone age 50 and older, as well as teachers and front line health care workers. The expansion to everyone 16 and older represents the broadest expansion of the vaccine yet in Maine.

“While this is a great step forward, Maine people should keep in mind that even though they are eligible it will still take time to get an appointment and get a vaccine,” Mills said. “We will continue to work with vaccine providers across Maine to get shots into arms as quickly as we can.”

Almost 60% of the state’s 50-and-older population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, said Jeanne Lambrew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

The state is able to expand eligibility for the vaccine sooner than expected because the federal government has increased Maine’s supply of the vaccines, Mills said.

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