California saw uptick in COVID vaccinations this month and some say incentives likely renewed interest

California
Gov. Gavin Newsom juggles numbered balls after a news conference at Universal Studios in June 2021.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom juggles numbered balls after a news conference at Universal Studios in June 2021.(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

After a steep and sustained decline, California’s COVID-19 vaccination rate rose markedly earlier this month, outpacing the inoculation trends in much of the country, a Los Angeles Times data analysis shows.

The recent boost in vaccinations in the Golden State is a bright spot that comes as officials confirmed Tuesday that the nation probably will fall short of President Biden’s goal of administering at least one dose to 70% of U.S. adults by July 4. California is one of 16 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have reached that target, but it will take a few more weeks after the Fourth of July for the nation as a whole to meet the benchmark.

California has long been a leader in vaccinations. But the uptick in recent weeks offers an early suggestion that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s elaborate — and, in some corners, derided — program offering the chance at cash prizes to those who got vaccinated may have reaped some rewards.

While it’s impossible to say for certain why each individual resident decided to get inoculated, the timing is nevertheless striking, and some suggest the state’s $116.5-million incentive program probably sparked renewed interest in the shots.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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