California was among the most aggressive states in locking down its residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the state is dead last in administering the vaccines that guard against it.
According to a report from SF Gate, California has used just 37.3% of its available shots, good for 50th place out of 50. That’s bad. California trails well behind the national rate of 48.6%.
As a nation, the rollout speed has been disappointing, falling well below expectations. But even so, no other state has failed like California has. It is not a size problem either because other large states are figuring it out:
- Texas 56.1% (11th)
- Florida 51.3% (22nd)
- New York 56.5% (ninth)
- Pennsylvania 47.8% (33rd)
- Illinois 48.8% (28th)
California’s counties and health care providers have the final say on who gets the vaccine, though California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature also share some of the blame.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, says that the counties and care providers can only go as fast as the state allows. Gandhi adds that Newsom’s announcement that residents 65 and older can get vaccinated is meaningless since he hasn’t distributed the necessary number of doses to make that happen.
Gandhi also says that California has not made it clear how much or when each provider will receive the vaccines.
“It’s up to the state to say clearly, ‘We’re going to ship out X number of doses to X number of counties on these dates.’ When you set up mass vaccination sites, you don’t want people sitting around without a supply.”
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has complained, saying, “We need more doses. We are asking for more doses. We can ramp up the minute we have these vaccines.”
SF Gate also notes that California’s guidelines are unnecessarily confusing and that the state lacks enough health care workers to administer the vaccine properly.
Leave it to Newsom and his crew to screw this up too. California is now last in another category.