U.S. CDC expands vaccine eligibility to 16 and up

U.S. health authorities said Monday that those 16 years and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I am so thrilled that today, all people aged 16 and up are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. A tremendous step forward in our efforts to end this pandemic.”

A majority of U.S. states have already expanded their vaccine eligibility requirements down to 16 year olds.

Alaska was the first state to lower the age group, while other states like Georgia, Texas and California quickly followed.

The CDC also said Monday that more than half of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, more than 132 million people.

Walensky also says they still expect so-called breakthrough cases, where vaccinated people still get infected with COVID-19.

Though so far, she says the vaccines seem to be working.

“Of the nearly 6,000 cases, approximately 30 percent had no symptoms at all. This is really encouraging news… Additionally, our current data suggests that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against the variants circulating in the United States.”

The U.S. has not yet authorized a vaccine for those under the age of 16, but testing is underway.