California will expand vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and older next month

March 26, 2021, 9:58 p.m.

Starting April 15, California will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday. Residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccinations starting April 1.

Stanford is reviewing how the expansion will affect campus protocols, University spokesperson E.J. Miranda told The Daily. Though there are no new updates as of now, communication will continue throughout spring quarter, during which Stanford plans to bring juniors and seniors back to campus. 

“Whether vaccinations will be required, and how vaccinations will affect campus protocols, are questions currently being reviewed,” Miranda wrote. “We hope and expect widespread participation, and the University will strongly encourage getting vaccines.”

There are 400,000 residents in Santa Clara County between the ages of 50 and 64 who will be eligible for the vaccine beginning April 1, according to county vaccine director Marty Fenstersheib.

Health officials are concerned that the shortage of doses in Santa Clara County will cause vaccines to run out as the newly eligible groups begin scheduling appointments in the next month, and the shortage could also impact how Stanford Health Care schedules vaccine appointments.

“Stanford Health Care follows California state guidelines on vaccine eligibility, with appointment availability depending entirely on vaccine supply,” Stanford Health Care spokesperson Julie Greicius wrote in a statement to The Daily.

Miranda added that Stanford “welcome[s] the promise of expanded eligibility” but echoed Greicius’ statement that vaccinations will “depend not only on eligibility but also on vaccine supply, which has been very limited in our local area in recent weeks.”

Greicius wrote that Stanford Health Care has the “capacity to vaccinate more than 10,000 individuals per day, and we remain committed to vaccinating as many eligible community members as quickly as possible when vaccine supplies allow it.” 

The county as a whole is able to vaccinate 200,000 residents weekly, though right now it is only reaching about a third of that estimate, Fenstersheib told The Mercury News. Currently, 32.2% of county residents age 16 and older –– 518,430 people –– have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the county vaccine dashboard.

Athena Xue is a desk editor for the Business, Science and Technology desk in News. She is a sophomore from Fremont, CA interested in studying biology and art practice, and she enjoys watching cute otter videos. Contact her at axue 'at'

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