On file with Governor Gavin Newsom: California continues to lead the fight against COVID-19

By Governor Gavin Newsom

Since the early days of the pandemic, California has led the nation’s fight against COVID-19 with strong vaccination efforts grounded in science and data. It has helped slow the spread of the virus and save countless lives, especially in our most vulnerable communities – someone’s relative and friend, and each of them is Californian.

We’ve met people where they are, from partnering with local grocery stores, schools, and hair salons, to developing multimedia content in over 19 languages ​​to reach the very diverse communities of California. California’s public health measures are working, and much of our success can be attributed to our best tool in ending the pandemic: vaccines.

December 14 marks the first anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine administered in California. We started by prioritizing immunizations for our frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable seniors. Today, after a year of working in partnership with the federal government, local public health, and community partners, millions of Californians aged 5 and older are now protected and helping protect others from this deadly virus.

We’ve administered 62 million doses – more than any other state. Eighty-six percent of all eligible Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 6 million adults have received a booster. I’m so proud Californians are literally rolling up their sleeves to help end the pandemic and protect each other.

The state has also made huge strides in closing the immunization equity gap among our most vulnerable communities. Through our dynamic partnerships with more than 130 faith-based organizations and 700 community organizations, 77% of Californians living in our least healthy neighborhoods aged 12 and over have received at least one dose. Our work is far from over.

We must continue to apply basic safety tips to protect ourselves, ourselves, our families and our communities from COVID-19. It starts with getting yourself fully immunized if you haven’t already and getting your booster. Simply put, immunization can help you avoid serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. It is also important that we wear a mask indoors – especially when we are not sure of everyone’s immunization status – that gatherings are short, small and outdoors if possible, get tested if you are. exposed to the virus, if you have symptoms or plan to travel, and stay home if you feel sick.

It is especially important for those who are fully immunized to receive their booster. This includes those 16 and older who received the Pfizer vaccine at least six months previously, those 18 and older who received the Moderna vaccine at least six months before, and those 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine there. at least two months ago. It is essential that we keep our immunity strong, not only for ourselves, but for our communities. Even with the emergence of the Omicron variant, Californians have plenty of reasons to be hopeful as our state continues to move in the right direction.

I want to end this column with a personal note to every Californian. Californians have met all challenges with vigor and courage, and together we will continue to lead the nation in the fight against COVID-19. I wish you all a very happy New Year’s Eve with my most sincere wishes for a happy, safer and brighter New Year to come.

For the latest information on the Omicron variant, go to CDPH.ca.gov and to find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose, visit MyTurn.ca.gov. To find a COVID-19 testing site, call (833) 422-4255 or visit your county’s public health website.

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