Kaiser would need 4 years to vaccinate all California patients at current supply rate

At the pace Kaiser Permanente is receiving COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, it would take the Oakland, Calif.-based system more than four years to vaccinate all of its patients, ABC 7 reports

Kaiser CEO Greg Adams sent an email to patients over the weekend saying that though the health system has 9.3 million patients in California, it has only received 300,000 vaccine doses since mid-December. That's an average of about 43,000 per week, ABC 7 reports. 

At that pace, it would take about 216 weeks, or just over four years, to receive enough doses to give all of Kaiser's California patients a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

"The unfortunate reality is that the number of vaccine doses being produced and distributed is currently not enough to meet the need — and it will be several months before vaccine supply in the U.S. approaches what is required," Mr. Adams said in the email.

Experts told ABC 7 they expect the pace of vaccines delivered to the system to pick up in the next three to four weeks. 

"With a new administration in Washington, I'm expecting the amount of vaccine that's available to start going up," Mike Wasserman, MD, a member of California's Vaccine Advisory Committee, told ABC 7. "And I think the challenge for all of us, we just need to know how many vaccines are going to be made available in the next couple weeks, the next couple months."

Mr. Adams said that Kaiser is prepared to administer 200,000 vaccines per week when the supply is available. It would take less than a year to give first doses to all of Kaiser's California patients at that rate. 

He added that in anticipation of more vaccines becoming available in the coming weeks, the health system is prepared to open more vaccination locations and mobile clinics. 

California is ranked No. 38 in percentage of COVID-19 vaccines  administered. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently struck a deal with Blue Shield of California to oversee the state's vaccine distribution to counties, pharmacies and private healthcare providers.  


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