COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines again.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that eligibility will open Friday for those 40 and older as well as those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart disease and obesity.

On March 29, eligibility will open to those 16 and older.

These changes represent Phases 1E, 2C and 2D of Ohio’s vaccination program. Phase 1E includes 766,000 Ohioans, and Phase 2C includes 818,000. Last week, President Joe Biden set a goal of having the vaccine available to all adults by May 1, and a representative from DeWine’s office had said the state was in line to meet that deadline.

The state is currently in Phase 1C and the early stages of Phase 2 of its vaccination plan, which includes those 50 and older and:

  • People with ALS
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • People with type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • Those employed in child-care services
  • Those employed in the funeral services industry
  • Law enforcement and corrections officers

Vaccination efforts started in December, initially focusing on those in nursing homes and other congregate-care settings and front-line healthcare workers. It has since expanded to include people based on age, those with certain medical conditions and those in certain professions such as educators.

The changes come as vaccine availability expands in the state. As of Monday, a total of 2,390,412 people had started vaccination in Ohio.