With more than 80 percent of eligible Californians having received at least one dose, Governor Newsom presses forward on vaccination efforts to reach those who remain unvaccinated
California continues to lead the nation in implementing vaccination strategies and measures to stop the spread of COVID-19
OAKLAND – Governor Gavin Newsom visited a vaccination clinic in Oakland today to promote vaccinations as more than 80 percent of eligible Californians 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Underscoring the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 and older last week, the Governor encouraged unvaccinated Californians to take action to protect themselves and their communities from the Delta variant and do their part to help bring an end to the pandemic by getting vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated is the key to protecting against COVID-19 and the faster-spreading Delta variant – it’s how we end this thing.” said Governor Newsom. “California has put more shots in arms than any other state. We’ve made incredible progress vaccinating our population in a remarkably short amount of time, and our work continues to close the gap in our most impacted communities.”
California has implemented first-in-the-nation vaccine verification or testing requirements for state workers and school staff, and vaccination requirements for workers in health care settings. Since first implementing these measures, the state has seen significant progress, with five straight weeks of more than 500,000 vaccines administered. Last week, California administered over 643,000 vaccinations, marking a 44.7 percent increase compared to mid-July. The state continues to lead the nation with 48 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered.
California is also encouraging private businesses and local governments across the state to follow the state’s lead and adopt vaccine verification systems for their employees, a move that has been followed by some of the state’s largest public and private employers. The push will allow business owners to worry less about closing their doors due to a COVID-19 outbreak and promote the state’s ongoing economic recovery.
Governor Newsom today also released his latest “On the Record” ethnic media column emphasizing the urgent imperative for unvaccinated individuals to step up and get the shot amid an increase in infections and hospitalizations driven by the Delta variant. The column, which has been translated into eight additional languages and will be published online and in print by various ethnic media outlets, underscores the safety and efficacy of the lifesaving vaccines and highlights the state’s efforts to address vaccine hesitancy and increase access.
“Unfortunately, many of our most vulnerable communities where we are seeing low vaccination rates are targets of disinformation campaigns, which continue to put lives at risk, including our youngest children who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” wrote Governor Newsom in the column. “Working with ethnic media, faith-based and community-based organizations, and many unique partners who are trusted messengers has been crucial to dispelling some of the most prevalent myths out there. It’s time to fully embrace the facts that prove vaccines work, are safe, and are free – regardless of immigration status.”
California’s targeted outreach in hard-to-reach communities has included multimedia and multicultural public education campaigns, “Get Out the Vaccine” door-knocking efforts and supporting community and business partnerships for direct outreach and assistance. The column also notes programs and resources available to Californians struggling with pandemic impacts, including rent relief and the Golden State Stimulus, with a second round of payments being distributed for direct relief to Californians.
Recent measures by California to encourage vaccination and slow the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Vaccine verification for state workers. Requires that all state workers either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week, and encourages local governments and other employers to adopt a similar protocol. Following California’s announcement, some of the largest California businesses and local governments followed suit, as did the federal government.
- Vaccinations for health care workers. Requires workers in health care settings to be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose by September 30, 2021.
- Vaccine verification for all school staff. Requires that all school staff either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week. California is the first state in the nation to require all school staff, including at public and private schools, to verify vaccination status or get tested. Education and labor leaders across the state welcomed the announcement.
- Universal masking in K-12 settings. Aligned with guidance from the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, California was the first state to implement universal masking in school settings to keep students and staff safer while optimizing fully in-person instruction.
- Medi-Cal vaccination incentives. $350 million in incentive payments to help close the vaccination gap between Medi-Cal beneficiaries and Californians as a whole, significantly stepping up outreach in underserved communities.
- Statewide mask recommendation. In response to the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations and new CDC guidance calling for masking, the state recommended mask use for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status.