Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference following a discussion with Asian-American and Pacific Islander community leaders at the Chinese Culture Center in Chinatown on Friday, March 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference following a discussion with Asian-American and Pacific Islander community leaders at the Chinese Culture Center in Chinatown on Friday, March 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Vaccine tiers for Californians will be gone by early May, Gavin Newsom says

Sophia Bollag

The Sacramento Bee

California will open vaccine eligibility to all residents and abandon its vaccine priority tiers in early May, when supply will have increased enough to inoculate a wider swathe of the population, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

Newsom’s announcement comes a week after President Joe Biden directed states to make all adults eligible for vaccinations by May 1.

“We’re anticipating within five and a half weeks we can eliminate all of the tiering, so to speak, and make available vaccines to everybody across the spectrum because supply will exponentially increase,” Newsom said Friday during an appearance in the Bay Area.

Since the federal government began allowing emergency use of vaccines late last year, California has gradually expanded eligibility to different groups of people deemed at highest risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. Currently, Californians over 65, many front line workers and people with certain disabilities or preexisting conditions are able to sign up for vaccine appointments in the state.

It’s not yet clear if there will be additional expansions to vaccine eligibility between now and when the state eliminates all of its eligibility tiers in May.

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