California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that beginning April 1st, California residents who are fifty and older will be allowed to sign up for an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Then, on April 15, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will be extended to everyone aged 16 and older.
"Beginning April 1, Californians 50+ will be able to sign up for an appointment," Newsom wrote on Twitter. "Beginning April 15, eligibility will be expanded to everyone 16 and older. The light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter."
Vaccine supplies have been steadily increasing in recent weeks, with the state receiving around 1.8 million doses every week. That number is expected to increase to 2.5 million weekly doses by early April and more than 3 million by the end of that month.
“With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,'' Newsom said.
The new date is about two weeks ahead of the previous day Newsom said all Californians age 16 and older would become eligible for a vaccine.
Currently, essential workers, anyone age 65 and older and those 16 to 64 with certain underlying conditions can get the vaccine. Underlying conditions include:
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic pulmonary disease
- Down syndrome
- sickle cell disease
- heart condition (excluding hypertension)
- severe obesity
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- an immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's health and human services director, said the announcement means “we are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us.''
“However, we are not there yet,'' he said. “It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance.''
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