That light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and brighter. In a little more than three weeks, anybody over the age of 16 who wants to get vaccinated in California will be able to do so. Let that sink in for a second.
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will expand vaccine eligibility to anybody over the age of 50 starting April 1. Just two weeks later, on April 15, everybody else over the age of 16 will be able to sign up to get vaccinated.
“We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a statement.
California is expecting to receive 2.5 million doses of vaccine in the first half of April, and another 3 million in the second half of April. By the end of that month, the state is hoping to have the capacity to administer 4 million doses of vaccine per week. Back in February the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, predicted it would be “open season” for vaccines in April. It looks like that prediction is coming true.
Even as more and more people get vaccinated, public health officials warn people not to let their guard down. “It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance,” Dr. Ghaly said. The state estimates it will still take “months” to vaccinate everybody.
San Francisco is actually well ahead of the state on that front. While California has administered at least one dose to about 27 percent of the population, in San Francisco, that figure stands at about 40 percent. San Francisco’s high vaccination rate and low case numbers enabled the city to enter orange tier this week, allowing offices and outdoor bars to reopen, and restaurants, gyms, museums and other activities to increase capacity.