LOS ANGELES - Beginning in April, California will expand its COVID-19 eligibility.
The office of Governor Gavin Newsom stated that starting April 1 Californians aged 50 and plus will be eligible to receive a vaccine. And starting April 15, Californians aged 16 and plus will become eligible.
"In just a few weeks there will be no rules no limitations as it relates to the ability to get a vaccine," Gov. Newsom said during a press conference in Orange County.
The state says its vaccine supply counties to increase.
"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 governor says the only constraint is manufacture supply.
"By the end of next month we will be able to administer 4 million doses a week, with the expectation that more supply will be available," Newsom stated.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's health and human services director, said the announcement means "we are even closer to putting this pandemic behind
"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.''
The state says even with vaccine supply expanding, it will take several months for all Californians to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the state will continue to target underserved communities by working with labor groups to reach essential workers and letting health providers target vaccinations by zip code.
The state says they will continue to double the amount of vaccines allocated to the lowest Healthy Places Index (HPI) quartile. According to a statement from the state, 40% of COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred in the lowest quartile of the HPI.
Newsom says equity is their top priority.
But not everyone is lining up to get the jab. This Santa Ana resident expressed hesitancy.
"The fact that it came so soon and suddenly there’s a vaccine as well when usually it takes years for something to come up," said Abel Esquivel.
Amy Manigo has already had her Moderna shot yet she’s still on the fence about her 17-year-old son getting vaccinated.
"I don’t know how his body will react to the vaccine so maybe I will wait a little bit for the others to try," said Amy Manigo.