SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – California hit a major milestone Friday after it was announced that 50% of all eligible residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
California expanded its vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and over just yesterday.
The state has the capacity to administer more than 3 million vaccines per week, and is building the capacity to administer 4 million vaccines weekly by the end of April, but supply issues are hampering the actual amount of doses the state receives.
The news comes as California and other states have seen vaccine supplies rise in recent weeks, despite the recent pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine as U.S. government health advisers evaluate whether a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot.
“I don’t care where you get it. I just want you to get it,” Newsom said of the vaccine at a news conference in Union City, California.
California has seen coronavirus cases plummet from a deadly fall and winter surge. About 2,300 people are hospitalized with the virus, compared with nearly 10 times as many earlier in the year, Newsom said. The state’s seven-day positivity rate for new coronavirus cases is 1.7%.
California has administered 24 million doses of vaccine and is pushing residents to get the shot through community outreach, mobile clinics and public service announcements, including what Newsom said is a new $40 million Spanish-language campaign emphasizing that vaccines are safe and effective.
“We’re in the fourth quarter unquestionably. But this game’s not done yet,” Newsom said.
As vaccine supplies have risen, many residents have had an easier time getting the shot. Several counties previously opened up eligibility to people 16 years and older after seeing appointments go unfilled, and the rest of the state followed suit on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.