By Wilson Walker

OAKLAND (KPIX) — California’s vaccination eligibility expanded this week but many who would have been eligible under a specific category still find themselves waiting.

“This is my second shot,” said Tesla Arteaga outside of San Francisco’s Moscone Canter on Thursday. “I’m all done, which is actually perfect timing because school is reopening back up for me.”

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Arteaga, a teacher, is in the 1-B group, among the state’s top two priority groups to receive the vaccine. That’s where the state’s priority grouping ends. There was, initially, a 1-C group that would have included 50- to 64-year-olds. The state subsequently dropped the 1-C group last month.

“You gotta do what you’ve gotta do,” said UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford. “The task here is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. In many ways, the perfect may well be the enemy of the good.”

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So what happened? Group 1-C, was also going to include people with health conditions that put them at greater risk. Then those people became eligible this week, pushing the state’s total eligibility to about 15 million Californians. That is currently straining the state’s vaccine supply.

“And don’t forget, we’re trying to have four million doses administered in areas that have been most highly-impacted by the epidemic,” Rutherford explained.

So there’s just not enough vaccine for everyone 50 and over now but everyone is supposed to become eligible on May 1 per order of the Biden Administration. The question then becomes: how quickly can the state move through what’s left of 1-A and 1-B?

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“I just don’t know,” Dr. Rutherford admitted.