Only 27% of doses used

Registered Nurse Matthew Brenner receives a Covid-19 vaccine from Registered Nurse Kathy Ferris, left, at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez on Dec.15, 2020. Photo by Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group

Registered Nurse Matthew Brenner receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Registered Nurse Kathy Ferris at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center on Dec. 15, 2020. Photo by Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group

Gov. Gavin Newsom has a lot of political capital riding on his goal of vaccinating 1 million additional Californians by this weekend.

Apart from school reopenings, no issue looms larger for Newsom’s third year in office — and his ability to fend off a growing recall movement — than the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, which has so far been plagued with logistical and technical problems. Only eight states have administered fewer doses per capita than California, which as of Sunday had administered only 27% of its nearly 3 million doses — a decline from the 35% rate the state notched last week.

  • Newsom in a Monday press conference: “We recognize that the current strategy is not going to get us to where we need to go as quickly as we all need to go.”

To help pick up the pace, Disneyland Resort in AnaheimDodgers Stadium in Los AngelesPetco Park in San Diego and Cal Expo in Sacramento are being converted into vaccination sites for frontline workers and, eventually, the general public. The state also recently loosened its vaccination guidelines to ensure that doses don’t go to waste if refused by high-priority groups. The guidelines — developed by numerous working groups — were intended to prevent well-connected Californians from accessing the vaccine before those in need.

But former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown argued in a recent San Francisco Chronicle column that the state should be administering the vaccine to as many people as possible.

  • Brown“It would be for everyone — no Phase 1A, Phase 1B and other confusing classification categories. And Gov. Gavin Newsom: Such a program would end the recall talk overnight.”

In other coronavirus news, hospitalizations and intensive-care admissions are beginning to level off — “a point of some optimism” Newsom attributed to the regional stay-at-home orders. And, in a signal 2021 will be no less chaotic than 2020, two gorillas at a San Diego Zoo park have tested positive for COVID-19.


The coronavirus bottom line: As of Monday, California had 2,710,801 confirmed cases (+1.5% from previous day) and 29,965 deaths (+0.9% from previous day), according to a CalMatters tracker is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. 

  • Grant program under scrutiny

    The Golden State’s unemployment rate grew to 9% in December, triggering the first month-to-month increase since April 2020, according to figures released Friday by the Employment Development Department. While the nation’s unemployment rate remained static in December, California’s rose 0.9% as the state shed 52,200 jobs — a staggering 37% of all U.S. jobs lost that month.

  • The City of West Hollywood Unanimously Adopts a Resolution Recognizing the Independent Republic of Artsakh

    The city continued its tradition of standing for human rights and trailblazing on Tuesday night, January 19, 2021. The West Hollywood City Council unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the Independent Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). View the resolution here.

  • Persistent tech problems

    California is struggling to provide residents with two items central to surviving the pandemic — the vaccine and unemployment benefits.

  • The Rude Awakening for America

    The hardest thing to do moving forward will be to actually convince the die-hard right wing that unity of purpose is stronger than division.  That government “for the people” means doing the things that bring the nation together rather than divide it.


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