Skip to content
Over 80% of eligible Californians have partial COVID vaccine

More than 80% of eligible Californians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone that Gov. Gavin Newsom called a “momentous occasion” but stressed that more needed to be done.

This level of immunization coverage among residents aged 12 and older ranks ninth among all states, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California’s partial inoculation share of 80.6% exceeds Pennsylvania rates at 80%; New York, 78%; Florida, 73.1%; and Texas, 68.6%, according to federal figures. States with even higher rates are found primarily in New England, as well as Hawaii and New Mexico.

“Thank you to the people of the state of California for being aware that this pandemic is not behind us, that as we fight this Delta variant, this mutation… we still have work to do,” Newsom said at the time. a briefing on Tuesday.

For starters, the share of eligible Californians who are fully vaccinated – meaning they received either the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine or two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna – is lower, at slightly more by 65%.

And significant gaps persist. Only about half of black and Latino Californians are at least partially vaccinated, compared to 61% of white residents, 63% of Native Americans and 75% of Asian or Pacific Islander residents, according to data compiled by The Times. (These numbers are underestimated. The race of approximately 15.3% of those vaccinated is unknown.)

There are also great geographic disparities. Eleven of California’s 58 counties have at least partially immunized more than 70% of their residents, but another 16 counties have seen less than half of their residents roll up their sleeves.

The counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have the highest vaccination rates in California. San Francisco and Santa Clara County, the most populous in the Bay Area, report that 87% of people aged 12 and older have received at least one dose; in Alameda County, the second most populous county in the region, 88% received at least one dose.

Weekly COVID-19 vaccinations statewide are up 53% from a low in mid-July. For the seven-day period that ended Saturday, at least 627,000 doses of vaccination were administered, compared to a minimum of about 411,000 doses in summer for the weekly period that ended on July 9.

Despite this progress, Newsom said the state was working on “more culturally competent outreach to meet people, literally, where they are” and “doing more to try to do better, including in our communities. rural and remote areas of the state where we still have a substantial amount of population that needs to receive these vital vaccines. “

The final round of vaccination comes amid persistent signs that the latest wave of coronavirus may start to stabilize.

Over the past week, California reported an average of 12,861 new cases of coronavirus per day, according to data compiled by The Times. That’s a drop of about 11% from a week ago.

The state has also seen a steady decline in its test positivity rate, reflecting the number of tests performed resulting in confirmed coronavirus infections.

California’s seven-day positivity rate on Monday was 4.7%, down from 6.1% two weeks ago.

“I don’t think it’s surprising that we have some of the lowest positivity rates in America, because we have the highest vaccination rates in America,” Newsom said, although he added that there was more work to be done to increase vaccinations in populations with low rates, such as among black Californians and Latinos.

In contrast, the nation’s second most populous state, Texas, has a test positivity rate of 16%, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Public health officials say the metric is a telltale measure of the spread of the coronavirus. While the raw number of cases fluctuates with the number of tests underway – and testing has ramped up dramatically since California schools opened for the new term – a stable or declining positivity rate may illustrate a slowing down of transmission.

The current workload, however, is still troubling. As of June 15, when California reopened its economy and lifted virtually all coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and public spaces, the state was averaging less than 900 total cases per day.

Hospitals also remain under pressure.

Statewide, 8,342 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide on Monday. This is about 12% more than two weeks ago.

Of particular concern are the intensive care units in California. As of Monday, 2,128 COVID-19 patients were receiving this level of specialized medical care statewide, a number not seen since mid-February.

Although state figures show that approximately 1,700 intensive care beds remain available, these are not distributed evenly across California. More remote rural areas might only have access to a handful of intensive care beds to begin with, and each that is filled by a COVID-19 patient is one less available if someone is suffering from a severe heart attack. or is seriously injured in a car accident.

In August, nine counties in northern California saw more patients hospitalized with COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic: Amador, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Placer, Plumas, Shasta and Tuolumne.

“This has been our worst fear,” Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), who represents seven counties stretching from Marin to Del Norte, told The Times. “We saw significant increases very early on in the urban areas of this state. Now rural California is the epicenter of this pandemic. “

Deaths, the latest impact of increases in coronavirus transmission, have also risen sharply in recent times. Over the past week, an average of 89 Californians have died from COVID-19 each day, about double the number two weeks ago.

The pandemic has now killed more than 65,200 Californians.

Times editor Hailey Branson-Potts contributed to this report.