Sacramento, CA…As announced by Governor Gavin Newsom last month, all Californians aged 16 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting today, April 15. This expansion of eligibility comes as the state reaches major milestones in its vaccine rollout: nearly half of all residents in the 16 and older population have already received at least one dose, including 73.9 percent of seniors aged 65 and older.
“Today’s vaccine eligibility expansion is a major milestone in our state’s fight against the pandemic and another step on the path to reopening fully in the coming months,” said Governor Newsom. “Thanks to the hard work of Californians who followed public health guidelines, our case rates and hospitalizations are among the lowest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic. California will need all hands on deck to keep up this progress, and I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinating all of those who are eligible will take time, but our statewide providers are ready to meet the increased demand and we are excited to get this vaccine into the arms of all Californians who want them, especially those in the hardest hit communities.”
California expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals aged 50+ starting April 1. Over 24 million doses have been administered in California, with 4.9 million doses administered in the hardest hit communities. The statewide provider network now has the capacity to administer up to 6 million vaccine doses a week, according to its third-party administrator Blue Shield of California. California is allocating COVID-19 vaccines to ensure equitable distribution. Currently, the state is directing 40 percent of vaccine doses to the hardest-hit areas of the state based on the lowest quartile of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI).
California’s eligibility expansion meets a nationwide deadline set by President Joe Biden that all adults in the U.S. be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19.
“As these life-saving vaccines put the worst behind us, it is important to not let our guard down, even after being fully vaccinated,” said Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón. “We urge Californians to continue wearing face coverings, practice physical distancing, limit extended indoor activities with others, and follow all the best practices to stop the spread of COVID-19 to help protect your friends, family and neighbors.”
Individuals seeking an opportunity to get vaccinated may still need to wait for an appointment. Eligible residents can visit MyTurn.ca.gov (available in 12 languages) to find and schedule available appointments or call the COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255 (assistance available in 250+ languages).
All COVID-19 vaccines are free regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Residents with questions about the vaccines can visit VaccinateALL58.com to learn more.