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On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his vaccination tour in San Diego, where he and local officials held a press conference highlighting the state’s progress from Petco Park, where the first mass vaccination site in the state vaccinated an average of 5,000 people per day. .
There, Mr Newsom said as part of the federal partnership he announced last week, another mass vaccination site was being prepared somewhere in the Central Valley – one of the hardest-hit regions of the state.
[See coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in California.]
“These sites are important and impactful,” he said. Yet, he said, “not only do we want rapid and efficient distribution, but also fair distribution. We know we have work to do.
Rolling out the vaccine is a pretty big effort for the Newsom administration – and not just because getting many of the state’s roughly 40 million people vaccinated is critical to stopping the spread of the virus.
For Mr. Newsom, widespread frustration with what Californians say is a confusing and piecemeal vaccination campaign is also a major political handicap.
So the governor was quick to point out the magnitude of the challenge in the state, the most populous in the country, and blamed California’s relatively slow progress early in the process to delays in reporting data, which he promised his administration would settle.
The Times has been tracking vaccination efforts across the country for weeks, including with a state-by-state ranking. I asked my colleague Amy Schoenfeld Walker, who worked on the tracker, to explain a little more what he can tell us about the California deployment.
[See the vaccine tracker here.]
Here is our conversation:
The governor has repeatedly referred to California’s ranking among states in the vaccine rollout, and he said part of the reason the state initially ranked low on the list was the delays in data communication. Can you explain how the ranking is made?
States report vaccinations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC publishes this information daily on its website. There may be reporting delays between healthcare providers, states, and the CDC
Many states, including California, also have their own immunization websites, which don’t always match CDC data due to these reporting delays. The Times uses CDC data on our vaccine tracker to provide a more in-depth comparison between jurisdictions.
How should people think about where California ranks relative to other states and the nation as a whole, especially given the size of the state?
We publish the number of people vaccinated as a percentage of a state’s population to remove state size from the equation. So while California has received and administered more vaccines than any other state, the share of its population that has received a vaccine is lower than 17 other states.
What should Californians remember from the percentage of doses used?
This measures the amount of vaccine administered that actually entered the guns. There are many reasons why this number is less than 100 percent, including delays in reporting by providers and over-allocation of doses to sites with lower vaccine demand. Many of these “unused” injections may also be brought up in some places, as appointments booked for vaccinations are not included in the “doses used” figure. Storing vaccines for mass immunization clinics can also reduce the percentage of doses used.
What are you following more closely in the future? Are there any numbers you hope you can track once states (presumably) start releasing more detailed data?
We hope to see more county-level figures in the coming weeks so we can look at vaccination rates in more detail. How does the deployment vary in different parts of California? We also closely monitor what states share about the race and ethnicity of those who have been vaccinated, as this information is often not collected when someone is vaccinated.
Are there any national trends that particularly worry you or give you hope?
President Biden recently said he is aiming for the country to administer 1.5 million doses of vaccine per day, and we are very close to achieving that goal. We will be watching to see if the United States can maintain or even exceed this pace in the days and weeks to come.
[Here are answers to all your questions about getting vaccinated.]
Here’s what else to know today
At the worst of the winter wave, nearly a quarter of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 died at Martin Luther King Jr. – by size, the hardest-hit hospital in the hardest-hit county in the state, which now leads the country in cases. This is despite advances in understanding the disease. [The New York Times]
Here’s another look at how the virus has unevenly hit communities in Los Angeles County. [The New York Times]
California and other states have moratoriums on evictions and other measures designed to protect vulnerable tenants. But that does not remove the rent arrears, and some of the people who need it most may miss help. [The New York Times]
San Francisco officials have sought to reassure residents shaken by violent street attacks on two older men, which left them both dead. One, which resulted in the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, is of particular concern to members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community still rocked by a wave of incidents in 2019 and 2020. [The San Francisco Chronicle]
“I’m losing sleep over it.” Punjabi farmers living in the central valley – as in Yuba City, nicknamed “Mini Punjab” – rally with farmers demonstrating in India. [The Guardian]
Learn more about the reasons Indian farmers are protesting. [The New York Times]
A multi-year fight between Hollywood agents and TV writers on practices that the authors say created an unfair financial conflict of interest for officers. [The New York Times]
Hunter Biden and his family have reportedly moved into a three-story canal house in Venice. Earlier this month, Secret Service cars parked in the famous scenic (and notoriously expensive) neighborhood created “quite a buzz.” [Venice Current]
And finally …
Friday is the Lunar New Year. But like, well, pretty much every holiday in the past year, the celebrations won’t look like they normally do.
Fortunately, even though the communities cannot come together at festivals and parades, there is always food available.
As Andrea Nguyen wrote for the Food section of The Times – in an article with lots of recipes – as the Vietnamese diaspora has grown, families have adapted Tet traditions.
“Although I don’t live in Vietnam or an enclave in Little Saigon, Lunar New Year remains strong in my DNA,” she wrote. “It’s a state of mind more than a medium.”
If you’re not ready to whip up a feast for a small group, you can support your favorite local restaurants by ordering take out. (The San Francisco Chronicle has this useful list of Lunar New Year promotions.)
And as the Orange County Register reported, there are still flowers.
California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.
Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.