30% of Californians have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

30% of Californians have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

More than 30% of Californians are now at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 – a promising step that comes as the state dramatically expands the number of people eligible to receive the vaccines.
While still far from the threshold needed to achieve the kind of collective immunity that can finally put the pandemic in the rearview mirror, officials say even achieving this level of community coverage provides a desperately needed layer of defense as the state seeks to avoid the COVID-19 spikes hitting other parts of the country.

“It happens in a fraction of a second, it doesn’t hurt, and yet it transforms everything,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a press conference Thursday. “It’s like the protective mantle around you – the fusion of a year of suffering, trauma and pain is finally starting to fade.”

To date, suppliers across California have administered more than 18 million doses of the vaccine.

On Thursday, one of them entered the arm of Governor Gavin Newsom – who, along with millions of other Californians, became eligible after the state officially opened the vaccine queue to residents of 50 years and over.

Newsom, 53, received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

“Today is an important day, obviously, with the opportunity now for people my age who were expecting,” he said.

After receiving the photo from California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Mark Ghaly, Newsom momentarily bowed and waved his vaccine card in the air before leaving for a mandatory 15-day observation period. minutes.

Yolanda Richardson, secretary of the state government operations agency, was also vaccinated Thursday.

For Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza was a suitable place for the two top state officials to be vaccinated.

“The reason it’s so valuable to have the vaccination site here, for the governor and secretary to come here, is for us to talk about the communities of color that have been disproportionately affected by this virus – this double pandemic, this public health pandemic and this economic pandemic, ”she declared.

At a press conference, Newsom stressed that nominations for these newly eligible Californians could be difficult to secure in the coming weeks – as the state’s vaccine supply remains too limited to fully meet demand.

The competition for nominations could not get more fierce than on April 15, when the state opens the doors and allows anyone 16 years of age or older to get vaccinated.

“It will take us several months to exhaust this demand,” Newsom said. “So even if we raise the eligibility, lowering the age to 50, [and in] two weeks, for everyone aged 16 and over, that does not mean that by April 16, everyone who wants a vaccine will have been vaccinated. It will take several more months to get there. ”

The good news is that the state is seeing its supply increase. Newsom said California expects to receive 2.4 million total doses next week – a 33% increase from two weeks ago.

He also said California did not expect any short-term nips resulting from quality issues that recently marred an unknown number of Johnson & Johnson doses.

From what the state has learned, California expects to receive 572,700 doses of the vaccine next week and 215,400 doses in each of the following two weeks.

“Beyond that, it’s an open question,” Newsom said.

Despite the problem, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement on Wednesday that they still plan to deliver 100 million vaccines to the United States by the end of June and “aim to deliver those doses by the end of June. end of May ”.

The other two vaccines currently being administered in the United States – one from Pfizer-BioNTech and the other from Moderna – require two doses, given weeks apart.

While the raw number of COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed in California to date eclipses that of any other state – Texas has administered the second highest number, at just under 12 million – the picture is more hazy if l ‘the population is taken into account.

As of Thursday, 31.3% of all Californians had received at least one dose of the vaccine, a share above the national rate of 30%, but still ranking 27th among all states and territories, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States. .

By comparison, 38.7% of those who live in New Mexico have received at least one injection, as have 36.8% of people in New Hampshire and 36% in Connecticut.

The results are more mixed when we look at the most populous states in the country. The proportion of the total population who received at least one dose is 32.4% in Pennsylvania, 31.4% in New York, 28.5% in Florida and 26.4% in Texas.

Epidemiologists estimate that up to 85% of the country will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus. With this level of protection, experts say, it will be difficult for the virus to find new people to infect.

But the general statistics belied the sense of relief felt by Californians who are now booking their dates or rolling up their sleeves.

At the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza site, the atmosphere, while calm, was festive. A woman came out clapping, holding her vaccine card in the air, as her husband waited to give her a hug.

Others smiled under their masks as they checked their temperature at the door.

” I feel good! Sandra Harris, 69, said after receiving her vaccine.

For her, the photo was an early birthday present – she will be 70 on Monday.

About 220 people had visited the site by 11 a.m., according to Toni Jackson, a public information official with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. For those at the site, the entire process – from the queue to the post-vaccination observation period – took about 45 minutes.

“It was a real eye-opener, it’s humiliating. We can step in and help. It’s history, ”said Jackson, 36.

Henry Curtis said he signed up for the vaccine online. He was a little nervous before he got it, but he’s happy now that he did.

Still, he doesn’t think it will change his life much – at least, not immediately.

“I think I will continue to wear my mask as much as possible,” he said. “I haven’t been sick for a whole year.”


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