SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION)
Governor Gavin Newsom is promising a shot in the arm to California's COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
After expanding who is able to administer the vaccine, the state is adding more flexibility for the counties. In a recommendation letter published by the California Department of Public Health Thursday, county health departments are now directed to move through all tiers of "Phase 1a", which include healthcare workers and medical responders. There is also a new directive to give the vaccine to people in "lower priority groups," if:
- Demand subsides in the current groups, or
- Doses are about to expire according to labeling instructions.
Phase 1a includes about three million people. Right now, Newsom says California has received 2,050,000 doses, and each person needs two doses of the vaccine. However, these doses are not being administered as quickly as hoped. As of Thursday, just 586,379 doses have been administered, which Bloomberg says is 47th among all states.
This week, Newsom promised one million more doses of the vaccine administered by the end of next week (10 days).
"That was the change yesterday. That we needed to loosen up those tiers, and we have now. So we are going to see faster administration, and we'll see that. Hold me accountable? You will," Newsom said Friday.
Tonight on KION at 11, Aaron Groff reports on the impact this will have for the Central Coast.