Alabama will allow everyone ages 16 or older to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, joining more than 40 states that have already broadened access in an effort to make all adults eligible by the end of the month.
“This vaccine is our ticket back to normal life,” Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, said in a statement on her website. “We are so close to getting Covid-19 in the rearview, and until then, we should all keep wearing our masks, get vaccinated and use the common sense the good Lord gave us.”
While states are moving to vaccinate people faster, they are also easing restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as Americans tire of the constraints more than a year into the pandemic. President Biden warned on Friday that the virus is still not under control and measures like mask wearing need to stay in place.
“I ask, I plead with you, don’t give up the progress we have all fought so hard to achieve,” Mr. Biden said at the White House.
Alabama’s current set of restrictions, including a requirement to wear masks in public, expires on April 9.
Almost three million people are being vaccinated across the country per day, according to the seven-day average released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.
But only about 25 percent of Alabama’s total population has gotten one shot of a vaccine, below the national average of 31 percent, according to the C.D.C. Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi are tied as the states with the smallest percentage of people who have received at least one shot.