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Maine will open Covid-19 vaccination to anyone 16 or older on Wednesday. Virginia will do so on April 19.

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Getting the Moderna vaccine in Richmond, Va., last month.Getting the Moderna vaccine in Richmond, Va., last month.Credit…Carlos Bernate for The New York TimesAndrés R. MartínezEileen Sullivan

  • April 1, 2021

Maine announced on Thursday that adults 16 years and older will be eligible for a vaccine on Wednesday, more than a week sooner than the April 19 deadline the state previously set. Virginia also announced it would allow residents 16 or older to begin getting vaccinated against Covid-19 on April 19, joining more than 40 states that have sped up efforts to open the process to all adults as federal health officials warn about a possible fourth surge of the coronavirus.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “And that light is getting brighter every day, as more and more Virginians get vaccinated.”

Inoculation efforts in the United States have sped up, as states push to make more adults eligible, heeding a call from the president to rapidly expand eligibility.

Across the country, an average of 2.9 million shots a day were being administered, as of Thursday, according to data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 32 percent of Virginia’s total population has gotten at least one shot, putting it in the top 20 states, according to a New York Times analysis of C.D.C. data. About 17 percent of Virginia’s total population is fully vaccinated.

Currently, in Maine, about 35 percent of the population have received at least one shot, with 20 percent of the population fully vaccinated.

On Monday, President Biden ordered his coronavirus response team to ensure that by April 19 there would be a vaccination site within five miles of 90 percent of Americans’ homes. It builds on his plan for states to open eligibility to all adults by May 1.

The number of Americans, in particular Black Americans, who have been vaccinated or want to to get a shot has risen significantly since January, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Republicans and white evangelical Christians continue to be skeptical of getting a virus vaccine, according to the survey.

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