By Stephanie Stahl

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — More Delawareans will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting next week. The governor announced Tuesday that everyone over the age of 16 years old would be able to register for the vaccine starting on April 6.

Delaware joins a dozen other states in opening vaccine registration to everyone. Restrictions are also being eased in the First State, even though cases are increasing.

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“We’re making incredible progress getting vaccines into people’s arms,” Gov. John Carney said.

Carney announced Tuesday that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone over the age of 16 in Delaware starting on April 6.

“We’re seeing kind of an increase in allocation, a pretty big increase in supply from the federal government,” Carney said.

State officials say registration will be open to everyone, but that doesn’t mean vaccines will be immediately available.

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“This is an important milestone for us. It will help us meet our dual objectives of fast and fair,” Carney said.

“This allows us to help vaccinate our community, protect our patients and help us move forward from this entire pandemic now,” Jay Patel of Green Hill Pharmacy said.

The Green Hill Pharmacy in Wilmington is ready to get even busier scheduling and administering vaccines.

“This actually makes everyone’s life a lot safer and a lot easier,” Patel said. “Thankfully, now the guidelines are so broad that we’re really just able to help vaccinate everyone in the community.”

30% of Delaware residents have already received at least one dose of vaccine, but COVID-19 cases are still increasing, up 44% in the state.

The growing number of variants is getting some of the blame. It’s a troubling pattern seen around the country.

“We’re still seeing now some concerns in an uptick in the number of positive cases,” Carney said.

But the governor is proceeding with plans to lift more restrictions on outdoor gatherings, which are considered less risky.

“We’re in the last couple miles of that marathon. We need to run through hard, we need to run through the finish line,” Carney said. “Keep social distancing, sanitize your hands and most importantly of all, wear that mask.”

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Carney says he will keep some restrictions in place until more people get vaccinated and cases stop increasing.

Stephanie Stahl