California Struggles with Vaccination Rollout as Eligibility Expanded to Seniors 65 and Up

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SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 13: Safeway pharmacist Preston Young (L) administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to Cecile Lusby (R) during a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on January 13, 2021 in Santa Rosa, California. Sonoma County health workers received COVID-19 vaccinations during a drive-thru clinic that was hosted by Sonoma County and Safeway. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Faced with one of the slowest vaccination rollouts in the nation, California Governor Newsom announced Wednesday that Covid-19 vaccines would be available to seniors 65 years and older. While many welcomed news of an expanded eligibility group, local governments and health officials struggled to keep up with demand, and across the state, Californians are asking why it is so hard to get information about how to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, as the Bay Area remains in lockdown, hopeful signs of a turnaround emerged on Wednesday as Sacramento and its surrounding counties entered the purple tier with outdoor dining, hair salons and hotels reopening. Will the next few months of the pandemic be as bumpy as the first few weeks of 2021 have been? When can people expect to be vaccinated? We’ll talk about what lies ahead as California pushes to accelerate immunizations.


Erin Allday, health reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Dr. George Rutherford, professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and
director of the Prevention and Public Health Group

Hillary Ronen, supervisor, District 9, San Francisco Board of Supervisors