CA experts weigh in on Biden's May 1 vaccine eligibility and whether it's realistic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In his first primetime address, President Joe Biden delivered hopeful news. He announced that all adults should be eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

But what does that mean in California, where supply and distribution have been challenging?

ABC7 asked experts across the state.

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"I really hope that we're going to be swimming in vaccine," said Desi Kotis, who is leading UCSF's vaccine distribution.

"A bit frustrated right now," she said Thursday afternoon, "because I just heard my vaccine allocation for next week and it's not that large."

But Kotis says she's thrilled with Biden's announcement. "I hear there's going to be a plethora of vaccines in California, and haven't seen it yet, I hear it's going to happen in April. But we've got our plan, we're ready. We pressure tested our mega site, our drive-thru site, and we're able to do over 250 vaccinations an hour."

"When the President makes promises like that, I think that means that the supply will follow," said UCSF epidemiologist, Dr. George Rutherford, who explained how he expects California's vaccine math to work out.

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"We need to vaccinate 30 million people, that's what the adult population of California is. We have about 11 million vaccinated right now, so that means we need to get 20 million more or 19 million more vaccinated. At the rate we're going now, about 2 million a week, that's 9.5 weeks worth. So that would take us through mid-May."

"It is highly likely that by early summer, we will have the majority of people who want to be vaccinated, vaccinated," said UCLA's Dr. Arlene Brown, who is on the state's vaccine allocation committee.

Kate Larsen: "Will California have the supply by May 1 to get it out more widely?"
Dr. Arlene Brown: "That is the hope, based on the Biden's administration's ability to purchase vaccine."

Brown says by May 1 the federal government will roll out 700 community clinics across the country. "Which is where low income and many minority residents of many states get their care."

Brown also says the federal government plans to double the number of mass vaccination sites, and pharmacies that have access to vaccines.

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