Only one state is doing worse than California in administering COVID-19 vaccines
According to a Thursday evening update to Bloomberg's COVID-19 vaccine tracker, there's only one state in the country that is doing a worse job than California is in administering its available COVID-19 doses.
California currently ranks 49th out of 50 states with a usage rate of 27.5%, beating only Alabama, which is locked into last place with a paltry 21.2% usage rate. For reference, the national usage rate is 38.8%, meaning California lags behind the rest of the country's pace by double digits.
The Golden State is in the same ballpark as Georgia (48th place with a usage rate of 28.0%) and Virginia (47th with a rate of 28.4%), and dramatically trails the other larger states. Of the nation's six largest states, California is the only one with a usage rate below 40.0%:
-California 27.5% (49th)
-Texas 49.6% (eighth)
-Florida 43.0% (23rd)
-New York 41.0% (26th)
-Pennsylvania 40.0% (27th)
-Illinois 43.2% (22nd)
The five states with the highest usage rates are West Virginia (78.6%), North Dakota (71.3%), South Dakota (61.4%), Rhode Island (57.2%) and Louisiana (54.4%).
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday his state is now allowing individuals age 65 and older to get vaccinated, but the rollout has been far from smooth.
Counties and health care providers make the final call on who gets vaccinated, and some, including Los Angeles County — the state's largest county — have brushed off the governor's announcement and said only health care workers can receive the vaccine for now, citing short supply.
"We're not done with our healthcare workers," said L.A. County public health director Barbara Ferrer. "We haven't heard back from the state about vaccine availability and how it would be distributed."
Meanwhile, Orange County decided to allow residents aged 65 and older to book appointments at its new Disneyland super site, but its registration website crashed due to high demand.
Many counties are asking the state for more doses before moving on to the elderly. For example, Santa Clara County wants to begin to vaccinate those who are 75 and older, but after requesting 100,000 additional doses, was told this week it would be getting only 6,000.