race for a vaccine

Vaccine Shortage, Slow Distribution Stretches State's Timeline on Current Phase

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It could be months before people 65 and older in California get the COVID-19 vaccine because of a shortage in doses and slow distribution.

The latest numbers from the state show of the nearly 4 million doses received so far, a little more than 1.5 million, or about 40%, have been administered. So far, less than 4% of California's population has been vaccinated.

The state’s health director says the state is receiving only 4,500 vaccine doses a week at best. At that rate, it will take 20 to 22 weeks to vaccinate all Californians 65 and older, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

That timeline stretches into mid- to late June. The newspaper reported that Dr. Erica Pan hopes other manufacturers can roll out their vaccines and increase the supply. But she thinks that won’t happen until March.

"In general I think people realize that there’s a shortage and they know that they’re going to have to wait for their turn, but when the message keeps changing every two or three days or every week, it’s hard to have confidence that you’re going to get your turn," Santa Clara County executive Jeff Smith said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the new head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke Thursday about President Joe Biden’s plan to vaccinate 100 million Americans within 100 days. She was asked when vaccines would be available in our local pharmacy, much like the flu shot.

"I don’t think late February we’re gonna have the vaccine in every pharmacy in this country," Walensky said. "I want to be very cognizant of the fact that after a hundred days, there's still a lot of Americans who need the vaccine, so we have our pedal to metal to make sure we get as much vaccine out there as possible."

CNN reported Thursday that the Trump administration left no vaccination rollout plan to speak of and that the Biden administration is having to build everything from scratch.

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