California will open Covid-19 vaccine access to all residents age 16 and up starting on April 15 based on expected increases in the supply of vaccine doses, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.
Vaccine doses will first become available statewide to residents age 50 and over on April 1, with eligibility opening for all residents 16 and up two weeks later.
According to Newsom’s office, the state expects to receive 2.5 million first and second vaccine doses per week in the first half of April. That will increase to 3 million doses per week in the second half of the month.
Newsom credited President Joe Biden’s administration for the exponential rise in vaccine supply that has already enabled some states like Texas and Arizona to open vaccine access to all adults.
“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 in a statement. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those older than 50 starting April 1, and those older than 16 starting April 15.”
Newsom and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly cautioned that it will still take several months to vaccinate all residents to want to receive a dose.
The state will also continue to reserve 40% of the weekly vaccine shipments sent to local health departments and health care providers for the ZIP codes that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.
“It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down,” Ghaly said. “It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance.”
California residents can contact their local health department for information on how to sign up for a Covid-19 vaccine when they become eligible.
Residents can also use the state’s My Turn vaccine notification and scheduling tool to sign up for a vaccination appointment when they are eligible.