More Delawareans are getting in the queue now that COVID vaccine eligibility is expanded to all ages 16 and above.
As of 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, Delaware saw about 21,000 new signups for the vaccine since going live under the newly expanded eligibility Tuesday morning.
“We appreciate our partnership with our providers in vaccination. They expressed that they are having lower demands with the 50 age and above, with the offices and pharmacies as well too. So looking at future supply we feel we have the capacity to expand to 16 years and older,” said State Medical Director Dr. Rick Hong.
According to a state Division of Public Health spokesperson, Delaware previously had about 35,000 signups and extended around 15,000 invitations for appointments for the 50 and over waitlist that began on March 23rd, but added it’s difficult to say how many were actually vaccinated in all venues, because of delays in reporting.
Hong says expanding eligibility was the best decision for the state to increase vaccine distribution, but asks for patience from people on the waiting list.
“Just because you are eligible does not mean you will automatically get an invite very quickly,” he said. “There’s still a process in place, and we are still looking for increased supply to meet the demand for the vaccine at this time.”
Hong says the state will still use risk assessment to determine who to invite first.
He also says the state is still in negotiations with the Dover International Speedway to continue hosting mass vaccination events. He expects the site will be available until at least the end of the month. The race track hosts a NASCAR race weekend May 14-16.
Hong says events will continue to be held at DMV sites as well.
To date, more than 511,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Delaware and more than 123,000 doses still remain in the state’s supply.