COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine is allowing providers to immediately make the COVID-19 vaccine available to those 16 and older if they are unable to fill their appointment schedules.

The vaccine is currently available in Ohio to those 40 and older in addition to those with certain medical conditions or that work in certain occupations. But on Monday morning, DeWine took steps to make sure the state’s entire allotment of vaccine is used each week.

“I authorized all of the [local] health departments in the state and any other of the locations – we have about 1,300 locations around the state of Ohio – we have now authorized them that if they cannot fill slots this week or next week, authorized them this morning to go ahead and offer them to 16 years of age and older,” DeWine said.

His comments came at an appearance at a vaccination clinic in Youngstown.

Eligibility for those 16 and older is scheduled to begin March 29.