CA braces for 33% drop in vaccine supply as more become eligible

"It's not time yet to claim victory." 56%t of the state's healthiest populations are fully vaccinated, according to data from the state. Whereas, 44% of the state's poorest populations have received at least one dose.

Video Transcript

- Now the state is bracing for a drop in doses from the federal government. New numbers from the state indicate supply cuts are higher for those who have yet to receive one dose. ABC7 News reporter Stephanie Sierra is tracking that timeline for us, and joins us live. Steph?

STEPHANIE SIERRA: Yes, [INAUDIBLE]. The state's vaccine supply the next two weeks is right around what California was receiving a month ago, far from where we need to be, which is why for those who have yet to receive a shot, snagging an appointment this week will become that much more difficult. California's vaccine supply is shrinking, days before around 16 million Californians who have yet to receive one dose become eligible.

YVONNE MALDONADO: So there's going to be a real tug of war here to see who can get vaccine.

STEPHANIE SIERRA: Stanford infectious disease physician Yvonne Maldonado has spent the majority of her career studying how to effectively get vaccines out. She says it will take California at least two weeks to get back to what's referred as our baseline supply.

YVONNE MALDONADO: So it is going to be frustrating. Believe me, everyone I have talked to is very frustrated. But these are logistical problems that happen when you are working on making a vaccine for the entire world, essentially.

STEPHANIE SIERRA: The state confirms, due to a shortage of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, this week only one million doses will be available for Californians that still need the first shot. That's a 33% drop from last week. Next week, another 4% drop is expected.

GAVIN NEWSOM: By April 15, if millions of people try to get a vaccine, it's going to take some time. It's going to take a number of weeks. It's going to extend perhaps over a month.

STEPHANIE SIERRA: 72% of the state's 65 and older population is vaccinated with at least one dose. That percentage for the state's 16 and older population is currently at 43%.

MIKE WASSERMAN: It's not time yet to claim victory.

STEPHANIE SIERRA: Dr. Mike Wasserman sits on California's Vaccine Advisory Committee. We've heard from the state that by May the vaccine supply will be substantially increasing. How confident are you that that will really happen?

MIKE WASSERMAN: I am very confident that in the next month or two we will have an ample supply of vaccine. I'm less confident that we are doing everything in our power to get the vaccine to the people who need it the most and the people who are falling by the wayside not getting vaccinated.

STEPHANIE SIERRA: Despite the backlog that's been attributed to the vaccine production plant in Baltimore, both Dr. Wasserman and Dr. Maldonado are confident once vaccine supply increases, the nation is still on track to reaching a herd immunity by sometime this summer. Stephanie Sierra, ABC7 News.