The COVID-19 pandemic made a significant impact on the state of California, not just in the health aspect but also in other areas. As such, the arrival of vaccines is a sign of hope that everything is moving towards normalcy. But how well is the effort going? And what should you know about getting vaccinated? Let’s take a closer look.
California COVID-19 Statistics
During the pandemic’s peak, California registered a total of 3.7 million confirmed cases. Of that number, there were over 63,000 deaths. The state also had a relatively high hospitalization rate, with around 22,000 people hospitalized each day.
Breaking down this data further, we find out that people in the 18-34-year-old age bracket comprise about 35% of the cases. On the other hand, people 65 years old and above made up around 10% of the cases. However, they were more at risk of death, with those 80 years old and above accounting for nearly 40% of fatalities.
The differing statistics can be attributed to several factors. The lower number of cases among the elderly is mainly due to them not heading out as often as younger people. This means that they are less likely to catch the virus. However, due to their frail health, they are more likely to succumb to it if they do get infected.
This has created a lot of challenges for health services. Hospitals found themselves struggling to keep up with the number of hospitalized patients. Meanwhile, providers of home health in North California had a hard time taking care of their wards due to the medical restrictions.
The California COVID-19 Vaccination Effort
Because of these circumstances, the state of California put on a great effort to have residents vaccinated against the virus. As of current, it has administered nearly 42 million doses, delivering 67,700 doses daily. That translates to over 20 million people already receiving full vaccination, while there are already 3.2 million people who have received their initial shots.
Los Angeles County leads the way, having administered 10 million doses. It is followed by San Diego, with over 3.8 million doses administered. These figures come from the data provided by the California State Government.
Based on age groups, 47.2% of people 18-49 years old have already received their shots. They are followed by the 50-64-year-old age bracket, with 24.7% of the population getting at least their first shot. Meanwhile, 22.5% of seniors aged 65 and above have been vaccinated.
Providing Vaccine Equity
Despite the progress made by California in vaccinating residents, the state recognizes that there are still areas that it has not yet reached. For that, it has initiated a seven-point strategy to deliver vaccines to these communities.
- Greater transparency on vaccination programs: The state has put up a website where people can view vaccine-related information.
- Encouragement campaigns: The state has also partnered with over 70 community-based organizations to go on a door-to-door campaign in these communities.
- Enhancing support for community organizations: In line with the above, the state government also partnered with philanthropic organizations to provide additional support.
- Vaccine equity grants: The state has released $34.2 million to fund underserved and high-risk communities.
- Localized plan for promoting vaccine equity: Leaders of California’s 61 local health departments have submitted plans for further promoting vaccine equity.
- At-home vaccinations: California has also expanded the reach of its at-home vaccination program for people who can’t head out.
- Free transportation: For those who can head out for vaccination, the state provides free transportation services to the vaccination sites.
Through these strategies, California hopes that it can accelerate the delivery of vaccines in the underserved regions and reach more groups.
With all the efforts California is making, residents can be sure they will get the important COVID jab. As such, you would want to take the chance to get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are still unsure of how to go through with it, here is the essential information to know.
What Vaccines Are Available?
Much like the rest of the United States, California residents will be given any of the following vaccines.
- Pfizer Biontech
- Johnsons & Johnsons Janssen
All of these have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What this means is that all three have been made available to the public faster than usual. That also guarantees that the vaccines are safe to be used.
Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines are administered in two doses. These should be taken around 3-4 weeks apart. Meanwhile, the Janssen vaccine is a single-dose administration. All three will reach maximum effectiveness two weeks after the shot.
How Do I Get Vaccinated?
First off, you need to register for a shot. You can do that online by heading to myturn.ca.gov to get your appointment. Alternatively, you can look for vaccination locations near you through the government’s VaccineFinder site.
The government has already established numerous vaccination hubs around the state. These include places like.
- Public venues like stadiums and accredited resorts
- Pharmacies, health clinics, and medical providers
- Veteran affairs facilities
You can go to these locations and present your appointment details. To make it more convenient, many transport providers like Uber and Lyft are giving free rides or discounted rates for those heading to and from these vaccination sites.
What Do I Need To Bring For My Appointment?
Aside from the appointment schedule you received from any of the above portals, you need to bring proof of identity. Officials recommend either your driver’s license or any government-issued ID.
In case you have been identified as part of the priority list (those with medical conditions, frontline workers), you will need to provide additional proof. For the former, this would be a recommendation from your doctor. For the latter, you will need a pay stub or other proof of employment.
If you are staying in a nursing home or other healthcare facilities, you are automatically included in the federal program vaccination program for these sites. The program already allots doses for these facilities, so you are guaranteed a shot.
Get Vaccinated Today
The vaccine is administered for free, which means you don’t have to worry about the costs. All you need to do is show up for your appointment. So, don’t hesitate and get registered today and you will be on your way to full COVID protection.