California is struggling to administer enough coronavirus vaccines to meet its goal of inoculating enough residents as the supply of vaccine doses fails to meet the demand.
On Thursday, the state will expand vaccine eligibility to include more people across the region. “We are not prepared as a state, as a nation, the world more broadly that we’re trying to build around, to run the 90-year dash. We have work to do,” California State Governor Gavin Newsom said.
Struggling to Meet Demand
Currently, California has fully vaccinated more than 9.5 million of its residents. Another 6.3 million people have already gotten their first doses. Authorities say 50% of eligible residents have already gone to get their vaccine shots.
State officials said they have administered about 24 million coronavirus vaccine doses. “We lead this nation by some 8.1 million more than any other state in this country,” said Newsom. However, he said on Thursday that the lack of supply from the state is hampering vaccination efforts.
California officials expect 1.9 million coronavirus vaccine doses from the federal government this week. The number is a decrease from the previously expected 2.5 million vaccine doses.
Authorities are still reviewing the potential link of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it is on suspension. State health officials said they expect to receive much fewer vaccine doses in the next few weeks.
“The expectation is, and this has been reinforced, that the manufactured supply by the end of the month will start to significantly increase both for Moderna and Pfizer,” Newsom said.
State officials said that while they have recorded a lower positivity rate for the infection, the variants still prove to be a threat. In March, 20% of all cases in California were discovered to be the UK variant while 53% of the West Coast recorded the same mutation, FOX40 reported.
“We are in the fourth quarter, unquestionably, but this game’s not done yet,” said Newsom. California officials are still pushing through with their planned June 15 full reopening. They are also monitoring the breakthrough cases in the region where vaccinated residents have gotten infected by the coronavirus.