Governor Gavin Newsom’s response to California’s sluggish vaccine distribution is one for the books:
California has administered around 454,000 vaccine doses of the 1.3 million it’s received. Why these remaining doses haven’t been administered to Californians as cases surge is unclear. https://t.co/Hqk2K1cgm0 pic.twitter.com/ZYk5AArOsr
— CalMatters (@CalMatters) January 5, 2021
According to CalMatters:
“Three weeks after doses of the coronavirus vaccine began arriving in California, only 35% of them have ended up in people’s arms — raising questions about the effectiveness of the state’s vaccination strategy at a critical phase in the pandemic.
“California has administered around 454,000 doses of the 1.3 million it’s received, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Monday press conference. When asked where the remaining doses are, his response was vague: ‘They’re all across the state. They’ve been distributed to counties, have been distributed to providers, distributed throughout the system.’ ”
Unacceptable. The Governor has had 8 months to plan a vaccine strategy. https://t.co/Kq62AgLzCS
— Suzette Valladares (@suzettemartinez) January 5, 2021
Back in October, Newsom made a Big To-Do about needing to “approve” any vaccine before it was distributed to California citizens. With the increased surge of cases and deaths in the state, he has since changed that tune; but still appears to have no sense of urgency about getting the rest of the doses distributed.
There is also question on who is receiving this distribution, especially since many health care workers are opting not to be vaccinated.
Hey Governor, the most vulnerable age group, the Elderly, has of course been completely vaccinated over the last 3 weeks, right or wrong?
Been seeing only 6% have received the vaccine, is that true?
— ViewPoint (@zephyr104) January 5, 2021
“acknowledged there is ‘anecdotal evidence’ that health care workers are turning down the vaccine, but emphasized there ‘are plenty of people that want to take that shot.’ The governor added that he plans to ask state lawmakers in his 2021-22 budget proposal — which will be unveiled Friday — to approve $300 million for vaccine distribution.”
Why do we need $300 million for vaccine distribution? The Porkulus bill that was recently signed into law already allots $20 billion toward this, and Newsom’s track record with any federal funding is always suspect as exemplified here and here.
So, now Newsom gets to hold the vaccine hostage until he gets more money, while making excuses for his poor response time.
“It’s like a flywheel. The first 10, 15 days we’re going to slowly start building pace and start building up and you’re going to start seeing more rapid distribution of this vaccine, I can assure you that.”
To help accelerate the distribution, after proper training, dentists will now be allowed to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and plans are in the works to enlist pharmacy technicians, and National Guard members in the immunization line.
One former Californian had a great idea:
Why not give 50% of the vaccine to Walgreens and CVS now. First come first serve. It would be must quicker getting folks vaccinated than playing this pecking order of who gets priority. Keep 50% for priority and the other 50% goes to the public.
— Thomas Marchetti (@Ryanexpress77) January 5, 2021
That would require relinquishing control to people with competence; from Day 1 that is something the governor had no plans of doing.