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California's COVID-19 vaccines administered "too slowly": governor
From:Xinhua  |  2021-01-05 18:45

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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Only about one third of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. state of California have been administered, state governor Gavin Newsom said Monday, adding "it's gone too slowly."

Newsom said at Monday's online news conference that as of Sunday the state had received nearly 1.3 million doses of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and another 611,500 doses had been shipped to the state, but only 454,306 doses had actually been administered at the same time.

This vaccination number was far less than the state's projection to administer 2 to 2.5 million doses to Californians by this week, Newsom said, adding the government was working on clarifying guidelines for local vaccine providers, such as hospitals and county health departments, to accelerate the pace.

That effort could include expanding the number of distribution sites and the types of people who can give the shots, including dentists, pharmacy technicians and members of the National Guard, the governor said, adding that more details about the vaccine distribution phases would be forthcoming on Wednesday.

Mark Ghaly, the state's director of health and human services, said the vaccines don't arrive at a facility run by the state authority, but rather distributed directly to local providers.

The local KCRA news channel reported Monday that one reason for the delay was that many counties received extra doses, but had no guideline for what should be done next.

Dr. Olivia Kasirye, a public health officer for Sacramento County, was quoted as saying that clinics who had a surplus of doses must have backup measures to avoid wasting the vaccines.

"Especially with the Pfizer vaccine -- if you take it out and mix it with the virulent, you have to use it within six hours," Kasirye said. "So, if you're running a clinic and have a few doses remaining, you may just have a couple of hours that you can use that."

As of Monday, California has reported 29,633 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking its total to 2,420,894. COVID-related deaths increased by 0.4 percent from the previous day to a total of 26,635. Enditem