OAKLAND — California on April 1 will expand Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to residents aged 50 and older, and everyone at least 16 years old will be eligible to make an appointment starting April 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.
The move puts California well ahead of the curve in meeting the President Joe Biden’s goal of allowing all adults to get vaccinated by May 1.
The moves are possible due to an expected vast increase in vaccine supply, Newsom said in a statement. The state expects to receive 2.5 million doses a week in the first half of April and then more than 3 million a week by the second half of the month.
The state, which currently receives about 1.8 million doses per week, 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.
The nation’s most populous state expects that it will still take "several months" to vaccinate all eligible individuals willing to receive a shot.
“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 in a statement.
Currently, vaccines are limited to seniors, residents with specific health conditions and people who work in certain job sectors such as education, food and emergency services. Still, some counties have extended the vaccine to more individuals based on age and health conditions if their supplies permit.
Newsom, 53, would become eligible for the first time on April 1 under the state’s new criteria. He has declined to get vaccinated until his age group is eligible.
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