By Renée Santos

SACRAMENTO(CBS13) — Some of the most vulnerable Californians are getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents and staff at Pioneer House and Towers were able to start immunizations Tuesday.

“It just feels so good,” said Sharon Snyder.

Snyder has a new energy and is feeling grateful to now be included in the state’s small percentage of people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. She still has one more dose to go but says the moment is huge.

“Truly a glimpse of hope in what has been a very, very dark time,” she said.

The latest numbers from the California Department of Public Health show the state currently has 1.3 million doses of the vaccine but only a third of those have been administered. Another 600,000 are still on the way.

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So why has the pace been slower than anticipated and what’s being done to speed it up? CBS13 is getting answers.

According to the state, there have been some distribution challenges and though the state has set guidelines to follow, how health providers administer vaccines within those guidelines is up to them.

Dr. Mark Ghaly says the state is talking with county health officials about how to speed up administering vaccines which could include updated guidelines to expand availability to health care workers.

The sooner they’re vaccinated, the sooner people in other tiers will get their shot in the arm.

Cindy Mallory, who lives at Pioneer House, also received her first dose and says the state is doing what it can.

“It’s a process that nobody understands if you have never done it before it’s like all these little pods that have to fit together and if one is out sync or if it disappears everything is on hold,” she said.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of California Health and Human Services Agency issued the following statement about vaccine distribution Tuesday: “California has vaccinated more people than any other state in the country, and has done it with a focus on health equity and serving vulnerable and high-risk populations. We are working with county public health authorities to determine how the state can support accelerated vaccination administration. We have also further clarified guidelines that expand the availability of vaccines to a larger range of health care workers.”

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