Gov. Newsom says 1 million Californians will be vaccinated in the next 10 days

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom announced an ambitious but crucial plan to vaccinate 1 million people across the state by the end of next week.

"I told you the goal, a million will be vaccinated," he said. "In ten days."

RELATED: 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine stuck in transit across CA, data shows

More than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been shipped to local health departments and healthcare systems across the state. Yet, ABC7's analysis found only 29 percent have actually been used. That's up slightly from 25 percent reported Thursday.

That has resulted in more than 1.4 million vaccines left waiting in warehouses or stuck in transit across California.

"I know, it's inexcusable," said Newsom.

The governor is working to provide flexibility at local levels so providers can start to administer vaccines within different tiers and cohorts. Newsom explained much of the backlog stems from network providers like third-party distributors, who are responsible for distributing a majority of the state's doses.

"For the flu vaccine last year, 10 percent were administered by county health departments," said Newsom. "90 percent were distributed by network providers."

VIDEO: Gov. Gavin Newsom explains why COVID-19 vaccine rollout is slow going
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Governor Gavin Newsom expects an even bigger post-holiday COVID-19 surge in California, he said in a noon press conference update today. He also gave an update on the regional stay-at-home order and the slow vaccine rollout.



Newsom added the state is working on loosening up the tiers and rules in which providers can administer vaccines to help speed up the process.

"We have done that now," Newsom said. "We're going to see faster administration."

These announcements to aid the backlog come after Newsom signed along with seven other U.S. governors that was sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and General Gustave Perna. The letter urges the federal government to release the remaining doses of COVID vaccine to states that need them.

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President-elect Joe Biden released a statement Friday announcing the remaining COVID-19 vaccines will be released once he assumes office.

"I'm focused on the urgency...getting the vaccine from a vial into people's arms," said President-elect Biden. "I think the way it's being done now has been very, very sad."

Dr. Joshua Salomon, a Stanford professor, has extensively studied the federal government's distribution process.

"I think the shift from the Biden transition team is a really good development and policy," Dr. Salomon said.

RELATED: Just 1% of Californians immunized amid slow vaccine rollout

According to Salomon, only half of the available vaccines were distributed to the states to protect potential supply disruptions.

"This was to ensure three or four weeks later everybody who got their first dose got their second dose," he said. "The change from today will ensure states have even more doses at their disposal."

"The state has more than 1.4 million vaccines available but haven't been used. Are you concerned this could further spike the backlog?" ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked.

"I absolutely agree with that concern," Dr. Salomon said. "There are local bottlenecks from getting all of those available doses administered and we absolutely need to tend to those."

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