TRI-STATE (WFIE) - More residents in the Tri-State are COVID-19 vaccine-eligible after all three states expanded eligibility Monday morning.
Starting Monday, Kentuckians 50 years and older are now eligible to sign up.
This puts the commonwealth one step closer to reaching Governor Andy Beshear’s goal of opening vaccine eligibility to all Kentuckians 16 years and older by April 12.
“Our goal is to be not too fast, not too slow, but just right,” says the governor.
Monday’s expansion is technically still part of Phase 1C but is moving Kentucky closer to Phase 2, which will open eligibility to Kentuckians 40 years and older.
The timeline for that next step has yet to be announced.
Across the river in Indiana, Hoosiers 40 years and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, opening up appointments for 400,000 more Hoosiers.
“The big thing for us is more people are eligible,” says Vanderburgh County Health Department Administrator Joe Gries, “and more people want the vaccine. We hope that they come and get it.”
Gries says vaccinating this next wave of Hoosiers should not be a problem. That’s because he says the state distributes vaccines based on upcoming eligible populations.
“So we are going to be able to handle this really well,” says Gries.
Gries says new appointments were going fast Monday morning on the state’s website.
“But that’s a good thing,” says Gries, “when more and more people are getting on there and making those appointments and have a lot of different choices here locally as well.
That list now includes smaller pharmacies like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
Meanwhile in Illinois - state leaders expanding vaccine eligibility to include a few new groups Monday.
That list includes higher education staff, government employees and members of the media.
Starting Monday, March 29, food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders with also be eligible.
Similar to Governor Beshear, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker hopes to have all people 16 years and older vaccine-eligible by April 12.