Media Production Editor
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will allow residents 50 and older to schedule a vaccination appointment starting on Apr. 1 and everybody 16 and older starting on Apr. 16. At the current vaccination growth rate, California is expected to receive 2.5 million doses per week during the first half of April, then growing to three million per week in the latter half of the month. These arrangements put California far ahead of schedule in comparison to President Joseph Biden’s target of allowing anybody 16 or older to schedule a vaccination starting on May 1.
Despite the Bay Area’s recent struggles with receiving enough doses of the vaccine, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly remains optimistic, saying “We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” in a statement on the same day of the Governor’s announcement.
Although 27.2 percent of California citizens have already received at least the first dose of the vaccine, the state remains persistent with its policies regarding masking and social distancing. In the same statement, Ghaly said, “It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks, and follow public health guidance.” These remarks were made following the third wave of coronavirus cases occurring in Europe and the second wave of cases in India.
Currently, vaccines are only available to seniors, people with specific health conditions, and certain groups of essential employees such as those who work in education, food, and emergency services. Newson, who has previously declined to receive the vaccine, will become eligible for an appointment starting on Apr. 1.
(Sources: Politico California, Los Angelas Times, SF Gate, Mercury News, NY Times)