Vaccinating Californians 65 and over could take until June to complete, the state’s epidemiologist said Wednesday, raising new concerns about when other groups will be eligible for the vaccine and underscoring the rapidly dwindling COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles.
That timetable would push back vaccine access for people not currently on the priority list for at least four months, based on state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan’s estimate at a vaccine advisory committee meeting. The current priority list, in addition to older residents, includes healthcare industry workers and employees and residents of nursing homes.
The current pace could change if the federal government speeds up shipments beyond the current rate of 300,000 to 500,000 doses each week, Pan said. So far, the state has received roughly 4 million vaccine doses from the federal government.
“We don’t know when supply will be increasing,” Pan said during a vaccine advisory committee on Wednesday, noting that the state is not holding onto vaccine. The assessment is based on dosage levels for the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines, which each require two doses for efficacy. If allocation increases and distribution speeds up, or a new single-dose vaccine is approved, the timeline could change, she said.
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