By Catherine Garcia
Journalist. Contributor for UCanBeHealthier®. Active Volunteer for Wings of Love, Inc.
SACRAMENTO – With a supply of vaccines expected to increase in the coming weeks significantly, California is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. Starting April 1, individuals aged 50+ will be eligible to make an appointment. Individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15, the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom reported in the last days of March 2021.
Based on the current estimates, California expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of April. California currently receives about 1.8 million doses per week. These estimates may be adjusted as time goes on. 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, according to the official report.
Additionally to the allocations of vaccines mentioned above, the state has embarked on a series of initiatives to vaccinate populations with the highest rates of COVID19 infections before vaccines become available to the general public.
So, there will be programs to reach and vaccinate communities facing the biggest health disparities, even prioritizing currently eligible populations and allowing providers the discretion to vaccinate those who live in high-impact areas, including complete families, agricultural workers, education and child care employees and other essential workers.
According to the official press release, 40 percent of COVID19 cases and deaths have occurred in households making less than $40,000 per year. This rate is 84 higher than that of households with an income of $120,000 or more. At the same time, California’s wealthiest populations have received 50 percent more vaccinations when compared to the rate of our most vulnerable populations, the report stated. ⊕