In an interview on Fox News on Thursday, Mr. Collins said he worried not that vaccine supplies would run short, but rather that the country’s approach to herd immunity could be dampened by people who “will basically say, ‘No, not for me.’”
“That could basically cause this pandemic to go on much longer than it needs to,” he said.
Thursday brought a slew of vaccine eligibility adjustments. California will open up vaccine eligibility on Thursday to any resident 50 or older and will expand that to residents 16 or older on April 15, state officials said, citing increasing supplies of doses from the federal government. Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said that any state resident 40 or older would be eligible starting on Monday, and that the minimum age would drop to 18 on April 5.
In Connecticut, which is among the most-vaccinated states in the country, Gov. Ned Lamont said that all residents 16 and above would be eligible beginning on Thursday. New Hampshire will make shots available to all residents 16 and older starting on April 2, and North Carolina on April 7. In Rhode Island, Gov. Dan McKee said the state was on track to make vaccines available to all residents over 16 by April 19.
Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said the state would open vaccinations to those 40 and older starting on Monday, adding that a mask mandate would stay in place for at least another 30 days. And in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce on Friday that all residents over the age of 16 will be eligible starting on Tuesday.
Hot spots are scattered.
In Michigan, new cases and hospitalizations are rapidly rising. There has been an average of 3,719 cases per day over the past week, an increase of 121 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Michigan is reporting more new cases each day relative to the size of its population than any state except New Jersey, which has seen an increase of 25 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
And in Massachusetts, which is set to open vaccines to adults 16 and above on April 19, coronavirus cases have increased 28 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Dr. Michael Hirsh, the medical director of Worcester, warned that the return of spring breakers as well as Passover and Easter could be “a setup for even a bigger surge.”