SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Hope is on the horizon as President Biden challenged states to make everyone 18 and older eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by May 1 – but can California hit that mark after months of a rocky rollout?
A South Sacramento vaccine clinic on Friday targeted underserved communities in hopes of achieving equity. About 90% percent of the thousand vaccinated were among the Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community.READ MORE: 'Prime Suspect' Paul Flores Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart; Still No Remains Found
Among those vaccinated was Amelia Leafa Pale, who is one step closer to immunity.
“I have been waiting to know when it will be my time,” she said. “I’m already emotional.”
Others are still waiting for their chance.
“I’m not so sure how that’s going to happen,” one woman told CBS13 in response to President Biden’s targeted May 1 date. “I think the wait time has just been a little ridiculous.”
Equity remains the state’s top priority, not adding new eligibility groups by that date – according to California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly. Ghaly said Friday the state is still focused on meeting the May deadline, though.
University of Southern California Infectious disease expert Dr. Jeffrey Klausner provided his insight on Biden’s proposal, saying he’s not entirely sure it’s feasible.READ MORE: Sacramento Hires Inspector General To Independently Review Police Use Of Force Cases
“They may be able to sign up – but will they be able to obtain the vaccine? That’s another question,” Dr. Klausner said. “To think there may be adequate supply for everyone is aspirational.”
Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich weighed in on a press call saying they are ready to provide if supply starts to pick up – and expects supply to stabilize come April. But the federal government and manufacturers would have to step up distribution.
Still, many like Curtis Mitchell showed up for their first dose of Moderna on Friday, and were hopeful normalcy is close.
“Where we can hug and embrace one another, and not have any fears or reservations about it,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is confident others may soon have the same chance he had, too.
“I believe that, I believe that,” he said.MORE NEWS: Lack Of Healthy Players Cuts Davis High School Football Season Short
President Biden also said it’s possible to gather in small groups by the 4th of July. Infectious disease experts say they’re hopeful for that, and say it’s likely if vaccinations continue to ramp up and variants don’t run rampant.