Photo courtesy of @CityofPasadena on Instagram, taken by Stephen Higginbotham.

Governor Gavin Newsom expanded California COVID-19 Vaccine eligibility earlier this month, with residents over 50 years of age gaining eligibility for the vaccine as of April 1st and anyone over 16 years of age gaining eligibility starting April 15.

On March 25, Governor Newsom announced the eligibility expansion attributed to the expected increase of the Covid 19 vaccine supply. California currently has an allocation of 1.8 million doses per week with an expected increase to over 3 million doses per week by the end of April.

“With a vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” said Governor Newsom in a press release. “We remain focused on equity as we extend vaccine eligibility to those 50 and over starting April 1, and those 16 and older starting April 15. This is possible thanks to the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration and the countless public health officials across the state who have stepped up to get shots into arms.”

Approximately 18 million vaccines were administered as of April 1. In California, there have been more than 3.5 million confirmed COVID cases and more than 57,000 deaths.

California residents who fit the new eligibility can now make an appointment at myturn.ca.gov and Carbon Health. Kaiser Permanente is currently offering vaccine appointments to members and non-members.

In light of the expansion, the Pasadena Health Department began offering vaccines via appointment for anyone over the age of 18 years old at pilot clinics scheduled in early April. In order to receive it, residents were required to bring photo identification with date of birth and proof of Pasadena residency.

Laura M. Ramirez, Assistant Superintendent at Pasadena City College, addressed the school’s response to the new vaccine eligibility and how it may impact plans for reopening for fall 2021.

“While the college serves as a vaccination site and may provide important updates and information regarding access to testing services and vaccines, the district cannot require proof of vaccination by employees nor students,” said Ramirez.

Although 30 percent of California residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, health officials urge the public not to let their guard down. It is very crucial to continue using masks, social distance, and practice safety health measures.

“We know the vaccines can protect, but what we haven’t had enough time to really understand is- does it protect from spreading?” said Avery August, professor of immunology at Cornell University.

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