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Newsom Urges Vigilance Before Holiday Weekend As California Ramps Up Vaccinations

Gov. Gavin Newsom is cautioning California residents to remain vigilant over the holiday weekend as the state works to provide vaccinations to newly-eligible residents.

“This disease is not taking Easter weekend off. This disease is not taking spring break off. This disease is as deadly as it has ever been,” he said.

Appearing at a pop-up vaccination site in San Diego, the governor praised the progress that the state has made in supplying vaccines and keeping coronavirus cases low. According to the California Department of Public Health, the state currently has a seven-day positivity rate of 1.8%, which Newsom called “among the lowest in America.”

Newsom said the state has provided 18.5 million vaccinations overall, and 2.5 million last week, with an increasing vaccine supply as eligibility expands. On Thursday, California opened up vaccinations to people 50 and older. And on April 15, the eligibility pool will expand again to Californians 16 and older.

The governor said this eligibility expansion is possible due to increased support from the federal government.

“We’re not going to get to herd immunity, we’re not going to get back that semblance of normalcy unless we get more people vaccinated,” he said. “We need everybody that is eligible, that’s willing, to participate.”

Newsom said the state expects to get nearly three million vaccine doses — 2.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna, and 572,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson — next week.

— Michelle Wiley

Copyright 2021 KQED