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Vaccine eligibility continues to expand for many Californians and Central Coast residents


CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Starting Thursday, millions of Californians are becoming eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

Central Coast and California residents aged 50 and older are now eligible for a vaccine. In just a few weeks it will also open up to those 16 and older.

"So far, the demand for vaccine has always far exceeded our vaccine supply," said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel.

Dr. Newel said she believes that having so many new eligible groups at the same time will create frustration among those wanting to be vaccinated.
Something that is already being seen among those who are already eligible. For example, she explains that Santa Cruz County has 33,000 farmworkers who are already eligible but they've only been able to vaccinate a small portion of that population.

"So they're frustrated as well," said Dr. Newel. "We weren't able to get through all of the previously eligible population either so same frustration there and then now with the 50 and up added there's even more competition for that pretty small supply of vaccine."

Santa Cruz County has the ability to triple their vaccine administration but they don't have the supply, said Dr. Newel.

According to the last census report, 30% of Monterey County are people over 50 years old. As well as 36% in Santa Cruz County and 31% in San Benito County. This week, the state is scheduled to receive 2.1 million doses. Next week they expect to receive 2.4 million doses. However, the
counties don't know how many of those doses are for them.

"We don't know how much we get until we get our final allocation and our final approval by the state," said Monterey County Health Officer, Dr. Edward Moreno.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. OK, somebody has to say this, might as well be me. Monterey County has to be the worst county in the worst state, to get vaccinated. I wonder whose fault that is? You can be over 75 or 65 here…and in bad health, and STILL not be able to get a vaccine. CHOMP is useless, CVS is booked except for like 5 towns in the whole state. Sure, there are anecdotal stories of people lucking out, but overall, telling people that everyone over 50 is eligible is offensive, because it means NOTHING in MoCo. I have my shots. Got them 2 hours away. People in Carmel are driving to Soledad for the few shots opening up. The actual PLACES that give shots are well organized. The county itself, the administration, has been a virtual failure overall.

  2. I spent most of the day trying to get an appointment. The Gov says 50 plus approved for vaccine today but nothing is open even for a future appt anywhere in the state I tried. Monterey County Health Department could not set up a mass site anywhere in the county? If you drive anywhere in Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel you will see tons of people already behaving like everything is over many with no masks, no one enforcing because after all first responders received the shots. I hope Monterey County’s numbers keep tracking down or its going to be another bad year.

  3. I am already vaccinated, my youngest son is vaccinated, my oldest got his first shot the other day. I am working on getting my wife vaccinated but as mentioned above, appointments are rough to find, but that is not unexpected. I will just keep checking every day until something opens up, but for the moment even standby appointments are filled. Give it time folks…we made it this far.

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