California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines. Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Wednesday allows seniors to join the already eligible next tier of emergency workers, teachers, childcare providers, and food and agriculture workers—even as counties complain they already don’t have enough doses to go around, the AP reports. Health care workers and those in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities can also still be vaccinated. State officials are expanding eligibility to those 65 and up because they are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized and dying.
California has seen virus cases and hospitalizations explode since Thanksgiving, though in recent days the numbers have flattened. The state has lifted a stay-at-home order for 13 northern counties with improving hospital conditions, but most of its population remains under tight restrictions in the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The US recorded an all-time, one-day high of 4,327 deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s overall death toll from COVID-19 has topped 380,000, closing in fast on the number of Americans killed in World War II. Confirmed infections have reached about 23 million.
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