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Virginia to expand vaccine eligibility to everyone over age 16 by April 18

People wait in an observation area after getting their coronavirus vaccinations at a mass vaccination site in Lynchburg, Va., on March 13, 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Thursday that everyone in the state who is older than 16 will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine by April 18. All but four states have now set dates before May 1 when residents 16 and older will be eligible to get vaccines, according to a Washington Post tally. President Biden had directed states to make all adults eligible by that date.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel — and that light is getting brighter every day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” Northam said in a statement. “Expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to put this pandemic behind us.”

Here are some significant developments:

  • New data from the ongoing trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has reinforced early results showing its high efficacy, and there are indications it is effective against the more-virulent variant first identified in South Africa.
  • The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again urged Americans not to let their guards down, noting a 12 percent increase in the seven-day average for new coronavirus cases and rising hospitalizations.
  • Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that a Baltimore plant run by Emergent BioSolutions mixed up two vaccines’ ingredients for a batch of doses, estimated at about 15 million, that had to be discarded.
  • Peter Navarro urged then-President Donald Trump to acquire critical medical supplies in the early days of the outbreak — and after the warning was ignored, pursued an ad hoc billion-dollar strategy that has since prompted multiple probes.
  • France announced a new national lockdown, the most severe since last spring, for the next four weeks, amid spiking cases and a slow vaccine rollout.
  • More than 30 million cases have been reported domestically, while the total number of fatalities in the United States reached 552,000. Nearly 98 million people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States.

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