After slow start, Newsom promises 1M more California COVID-19 vaccinations in 9 days

California
Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as ICU nurse Helen Cordova receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as ICU nurse Helen Cordova receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

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Gov. Gavin Newsom set an ambitious target of vaccinating an additional 1 million people against COVID-19 over the next nine days, but offered few new details in Friday’s budget proposal indicating how the state would spend the estimated $372 million he says is needed to improve vaccine rates.

Newsom said the state is ramping up efforts to ensure those who qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine are able to get them quickly, admitting the state’s effort to distribute the lifesaving supplies has been “not good enough.” Though California has received more than 2 million doses of vaccine, as of Friday less than a third had been administered to the frontline healthcare workers and residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities who are eligible in the first round of inoculations.

“I would expect — and you should expect — that we are going to see a substantially higher number of vaccines administered in the coming days and coming weeks,” said Newsom, later adding, “Hold me accountable.”

The state’s effort to quickly ramp up the number of people vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus comes as the California Hospital Assn. said Friday that the surging infection rates are expected to result in a tsunami of patients needing care at hospitals that are already stretched to their limit.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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