INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana opened up COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday to all Hoosiers age 16 and older in the latest expansion of the state’s vaccination efforts days before it plans to lift a statewide mask mandate.

Gov. Eric Holcomb had announced plans for Wednesday’s expansion to those 16 and older last week, while also announcing plans to lift the mask mandate and remaining COVID-19 business restrictions on April 6.

Indiana’s move expanding vaccine eligibility for youths and people in their 20s makes more than 1.3 million additional people eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. That raises the number of Hoosiers eligible for a vaccine to more than 5.4 million, the Indiana Department of Health said.

“I encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up for an appointment so that we can take the next step toward putting this pandemic behind us,” State Health Commissioner Kris Box said in a statement.

The Indiana Department of Health said that during Monday’s first day of vaccine eligibility for Hoosiers ages 30 to 39 more than 79,000 people in that age group signed up to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Holcomb, Box and other state officials were scheduled to provide an update on the state’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday afternoon during a weekly news briefing.

Eligible Indiana residents can schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine by visiting or calling 211 if they do not have access to a computer, or require assistance.

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