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Home / US / California opens COVID vaccine eligibility to people over 65

California opens COVID vaccine eligibility to people over 65



California officials announced on Wednesday that they will significantly expand vaccination eligibility guidelines, allowing all residents 65 and older to meet COVID-19 vaccination standards more quickly, in response to the Trump administration’s new guidelines aimed at accelerating the promotion of vaccines across the country.

This action shows that with the surge in the number of cases, there is an urgent need to increase access to vaccines. Orange County officials took the lead in adopting the new rules on Tuesday.

Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) said on Wednesday: “There is no more important priority than to distribute these vaccines as quickly as possible and equitably to those facing the most severe consequences.”

; “People over 65 are now under A group of people who are eligible to start vaccinations. For those who have not yet qualified for the vaccine, it’s your turn. We are doing our best to bring more vaccines into the state.”

So far, California officials have been working hard to allocate vaccine doses. As of Monday, California has received more than 2.4 million doses of vaccine, but less than one-third of the vaccine has been administered. The demand for medical care and nursing home staff who are prioritized for vaccination is lower than expected, with as many as 40% denying the initial opportunity for vaccination.

In response, state officials last week expanded the use of all health care workers and relaxed guidelines for unused doses.

Newsom set an ambitious goal last week to vaccinate another 1 million people within 10 days of January 17.

Before the state announcement in Los Angeles County, a pop-up message was added to the vaccine registration website to warn people not to date unless they are eligible. As of last week, Los Angeles County has received more than 490,990 vaccines, including more than 145,620 first doses and more than 6,150 second doses.

The massive surge in COVID-19 cases in California has focused attention on the state’s handling of vaccine supplies. There are close to 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, which means that 1 in 10 cases in the county was infected during the pandemic. Statewide, more than 2.7 million Californians have tested positive.

Federal officials said the decision to open the qualifications was to prompt the states to take faster action. US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (Alex Azar) said on Tuesday that states are acting too slowly and that life-saving vaccines should be distributed immediately.

“This is currently the most effective way to save lives,” said Azar, “and the strict management of this process in some states has prevented the vaccine from spreading more quickly to a wider range of vulnerable people.”

Federal guidelines require that people over 65 are now eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. In addition, the federal guidelines stipulate that anyone between the ages of 16 and 64 who has a health certificate should be immediately eligible.

Azar said that national regulations restricting who qualifies have “hindered the speed and availability of vaccines.”

In order to promote easier access to vaccines by states, Azar said that the federal government will notify the United States two weeks in advance and will distribute vaccines to states in the future based on the efficiency of their use of existing vaccines.

Azar said: “This gives the states a strong incentive to ensure that the dose can protect people, rather than sitting on a shelf or in a freezer.” “With the number of cases we are facing now, there is absolutely no Time can be wasted.”

The federal push seems to have prompted state officials to reconsider their plans. Previously, the state planned to allow people in certain occupational fields (such as those in education and agriculture) and adults aged 75 years and over to be vaccinated, and then vaccinate people between 65 and 74 years old. According to the new guidelines, the state lowered the age threshold to 65 years and older, giving this group priority access.

However, the state will wait to the next level to allow individuals 16 to 65 years old with medical conditions to be eligible for the vaccine.

The state’s restrictions on who is eligible to receive vaccines and restrictions designed to ensure a limited priority supply time, as well as ways people can’t pay. Newsom announced last week that the state will relax restrictions to ensure that the vaccine can be provided to other lower-class populations, such as teachers, childcare workers and people over 75 years of age, when the vaccine is at risk.

The qualification expansion on Wednesday presented major challenges. California counties are scrambling to find more medical professionals who can vaccinate, large facilities that can provide vaccination, and more vaccines themselves.

Officials say that in Santa Clara County, they have been very successful in distributing vaccines and need more doses. County Administrator Jeff Smith said the county asked the state to provide an additional 100,000 doses of vaccine, but was told this week that it would receive 6,000 doses. He said this will affect the county’s target of 35,000 vaccinations per week starting next week.

The transfer of qualified personnel complicates the county’s plan on how to distribute vaccines.

“We are getting more and more confused, the news is inconsistent,” Smith said.

Some members of the state’s vaccine advisory committee expressed concern at a meeting on Tuesday that people who may face other vulnerabilities may get lost in the chaos because of their age. Others worry that as the door opens to more qualified vaccinators, high-risk personnel, including basic workers, may be ignored.

Carol Green of the California State Parent Teacher Association said: “If you add a large number of people, you will eventually get insufficient vaccines.” Said at the conference.

Time magazine writer Taryn Luna (Taryn Luna) contributed to this report.

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