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California will be expanding vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older on April 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. Adults over 50 will be able to receive the vaccine starting April 1.
“NEW: CA is expanding eligibility for the #COVID19 vaccine. Beginning April 1, Californians 50+ will be able to sign up for an appointment. Beginning April 15, eligibility will be expanded to everyone 16 and older,” the governor tweeted Thursday. “The light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter.”
Currently, essential workers, people who are above 65 years old, and people who are between 16 and 64 years old and have preexisting conditions are eligible for the vaccine in California. As of Wednesday, 16 percent of Los Angeles County is fully vaccinated, per ABC 7.
Amid the vaccination rollout, some businesses in California have started to open back up, with outdoor dining, hair salons and barbers shops reopening in late January for the whole state and L.A.-area movie theaters reopening in mid-March, albeit at a 25 percent capacity.
The timing of the announcement is auspicious for the entertainment industry, as unions’ return-to-work agreements with employers are up for renewal in April. As to whether employers may require vaccinations once they become widely available, it’s unclear yet how the unions and the studios will handle their communications to workers, as THR reported in March. “We’ve never seen a pandemic before, but no companies right now require a flu shot or a pneumonia shot or proof of any kinds of shots to work on productions,” Loeb & Loeb’s Ivy Kagan Bierman told THR at that time.
As of Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health reported that the state had confirmed 3,551,056 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began and 56,850 fatalities. In a speech at Dodger Stadium on March 9, Newsom acknowledged, “I know our progress hasn’t always felt fast enough, and look, we have made mistakes. I have made mistakes. But we own them.”
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