California is one of the slowest states in the nation when it comes to rolling out coronavirus vaccines, data from the Centers for Disease Control show — even as virus cases surge, overburdened hospitals turn away patients and record numbers of people die.

Travis Whisler of Long Beach, left, an employee with the Orange County Fire Authority, receives his COVID-19 vaccine in Irvine on Jan. 9, 2021. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

South Dakota was more than twice as speedy as California at pushing shots into people’s arms as of Tuesday, Jan. 12. It had vaccinated 5,451 of every 100,000 residents, ranking No. 1 among all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The Golden State trailed far behind, at No. 44, vaccinating just 1,981 of every 100,000 residents.

While an enormous state like California faces complicated logistics, two other large, heavily populated states are also vaccinating people far more quickly than is California. Both New York and Texas eclipsed California’s pace by some 50 percent (shots in 2,979 of every 100,000 arms in New York and 2,938 of every 100,000 in Texas). Those states ranked No. 18 and 21, respectively.

Even Louisiana and Puerto Rico, not particularly known for efficient infrastructure, are doing better than California.

“We recognize that the current strategy is not going to get us where we need to go as quickly as we all need to go,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a briefing Monday.

Newsom was one of eight governors who implored federal officials last week to quit holding back half of available vaccine doses — meant to ensure that each person already vaccinated gets the second, required shot a few weeks later — and release it so as many people can get it as soon as possible.

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President-elect Joe Biden said he intended to do just that when he takes office next week, confident that Pfizer and Moderna can produce enough new vaccine to cover the required second doses in the required timelines. But on Tuesday, the Trump administration beat him to it, agreeing to release all doses over strident objections of the Food and Drug Administration and many experts.

A long line of cars wait on Jamboree Road in Irvine to get into the Orange County Fire Authority Headquarters on  Jan. 9 as the Orange County Health Care Agency administered first doses of the coronavirus vaccine to all personnel listed in Phase 1A, which targeted frontline hospital workers, residents of long-term care facilities and first responders. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)Dangerous gamble?

That’s a profound and perhaps dangerous wager, some say.

“It’s like the gambler at the casino who lost 10 bets in a row on the roulette wheel and says he’s finally due for a win,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and population health scientist at UC Irvine. “You’re not ever due for a win. Has Lady Luck really been smiling on us lately?”

Each first dose, Noymer said, is a promissory note on the second. “To push it all out and wait for the feds …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

      

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