On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced during a press conference that California had fallen well short of its vaccination goal, and that the state would be recruiting personnel from other medical and health services.
Governor Newsom had announced in 2020, shortly after the federal government had announced the number of vaccines going to California, that he had planned for 2 million Californians to be vaccinated by the end of the year. However, only 1.3 million doses had been shipped by the end of the year, with only 454, 306 being administered by New Years Day.
Despite an additional 611,506 doses now in the state since the new year, and many more on their way, the Governor said that California is nowhere near where they should be.
“Not good enough, we recognize that,” said the Governor on Monday. “I’m submitting a budget this week for another $300 million towards vaccines in California.
“This is a deadly disease. This is a deadly pandemic. It remains as deadly today as any point in the history of this pandemic,” continued Newsom. “The vaccines don’t arrive magically in some state facility. We don’t receive large crates of vaccines.”
The Governor also announced a program to fight medical personnel shortages and fatigue by bringing in dentists, pharmacy technicians, National Guard members and other periphery medical professionals to administer vaccinations on a ramped up scale.
“We are working aggressively to accelerate our pace,” added the Governor. “You’re going to start seeing more rapid distribution of this vaccine, I can assure you that now.
“That said, it’s gone too slowly. I know for many of us, all of us, I think we want to see 100% of what’s received immediately administered in people’s arms, and so that’s a challenge.”
Dentist, medical professional response
“Dentists are ready, willing and able to help administer COVID-19 vaccinations to the public,” explained CDA President Judee Tippett-Whyte. “We can help with surge capacity at clinics and vaccinations sites – wherever we’re needed to quickly administer vaccinations and save lives.”
Other dental professionals also reacted positively to the news.
“Everyone is doing their part during this,” said Sarah Lopez, a Dental Hygienist in Southern California. “Some are in hospitals treating people, others are staying at home to reduce the spread. Now, we’re being called to help administer some of these vaccinations. Or at the very least assisting them. And we all have to do our bit. And if this is needed, we’ll do it.”
“It also means that we’ll probably get vaccines sooner too.”
The Governor also noted that a surge in cases will likely happen in California in the next few weeks due to holiday travelers coming home. The “surge on top of a surge” has worried most medical professionals in the state, saying that an increase over the 45,000 new cases reported on Sunday alone could push the medical system to the brink statewide.
“This is about total collapse of the health care system if we have another spike,” explained Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center chief medical officer Dr. Brad Spellberg in a CNN interview.
Also announced on Monday were further rollout plans for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, noting that Pfizer would be easier to distribute in the state because of California being close with the company in medical deals.
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