CA lagging behind most states in vaccine distribution


California is lagging behind most of the nation in distributing its available supply of vaccine doses.

According to the CDC, California has administered less than a third of the vaccines it has received. As of Sunday, June 10, about 780,000 doses have been given out of 2.8 million. While some of that may be due to a lag in reporting vaccinations, California officials have also said that shots are not being given quickly enough.

California ranked just 41st out of 50 states in terms of available doses used, tying with Mississippi. With only 2% of the total population vaccinated, the state tied with North Carolina for 41st place for the percentage of people vaccinated.

Nationwide, 25.4 million doses have been distributed and 8.9 million shots have been given, which means about 35% of available doses have been used.

Gov. Newsom said Monday that California has a goal to vaccinate an additional one million people by the end of the week, although that would still leave one million doses waiting to be used.

The Trump administration on Tuesday changed its vaccine guidance in an effort to clear some of the bottlenecks. The administration says anyone 65 and older and younger people with comorbidities should start getting the vaccine.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar also announced that the federal government would stop holding back doses to ensure patients could get their second shot on time. The move could immediately double the supply of shots but many experts fear this means people will have to wait longer to get their second dose.

Azar also warned that the government could change dispensation of the vaccines. Currently vaccines are given out to states roughly in accordance with their population, but that could shift to prioritize states that are dispensing vaccines faster or have a higher elderly population.

It is not clear how this shift will be implemented, as President-elect Biden will take office next week.