34,000 COVID-19 vaccines to be sent to Central Valley this week, Gov. Newsom says

FRESNO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that approximately 34,000 COVID-19 vaccines would be arriving in the Central Valley this week.

The state will be reallocating thousands of doses to Central California to help vaccinate more farmworkers, the governor said while visiting a new vaccination site in Kern County.

Newsom didn't reveal when the doses would become available but said he would be back in Central California later this week to provide additional details.

The new site in Kern County is one of 11 "mobile sites" that will be available in the Central Valley to help administer more doses. The sites are being established in partnership with OptumServe, similar to the vaccine clinic that was set up at Reedley College last week.

Newsom said these smaller sites are supposed to help reach people who may not have transportation or the tools to make online appointments to visit larger vaccination sites.

The Central Valley has been awaiting a mass vaccination site utilizing federal resources, like the ones that have been set up in Oakland and Los Angeles. Newsom said creating these smaller vaccinations sites is a way to help let Valley residents know they haven't been left behind.

"I'm not some guy from San Francisco that doesn't give a damn about the Central Valley. I know we're not perfect, and I know we're not doing everything, but I'm trying to bridge that," Newsom said. "We don't have to agree on everything, but I do care. We want to deliver."

Newsom also said the Central Valley as a whole will see a 58% increase in vaccine doses starting this week.

Newsom also visited Long Beach earlier Monday, and he acknowledged the shortfalls seen in areas across the state.

"There's not enough vaccinations, there's not enough doses, there's not enough vaccines to accommodate the need and demand," Newsom said. "Just at this site, they're running about a third of capacity.

"Sites all across the state of California are toggling back based on limited supply. That's a manufacturing issue," he added.

Progress is being made, as Newsom announced 7.3 million doses have been administered statewide. However, the governor acknowledged that many communities have struggled to keep up with the demand for vaccinations.

RELATED: California to set aside 10% of all 1st vaccine doses for teachers, Gov. Gavin Newsom announces
Newsom on Monday promoted the reopening of schools and discussed more vaccine availability for teachers. Beginning March 1, California will set aside 10% of all of the first-round vaccine doses it receives specifically for teachers, educators and childcare workers.

The change will start with a beginning baseline of at least 75,000 doses a week.
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