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.