Nearly half of Asian Americans in California are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

RN Anita Leong administers a COVID-19 vaccination to Diana Corona at Inclusive Action Mobile Vaccines at McCarty Memorial Christian Church in Los Angeles, March 29, 2021. | Photo by Michael Owen Baker

30 million vaccine doses administered in CA

AS California prepares for a total reopening of the state, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported this week that hospitalizations and positive case rates for COVID-19 continue to decrease as vaccinations increase.

In California (which is home to nearly 40 million people), more than 30 million vaccine doses have been administered, with more than 6 million of them to residents in communities hardest hit by the pandemic, the CDPH shared on Tuesday, May 4.

Nearly half of the Asian American community, 48%, are fully vaccinated and another 26% are half vaccinated, meaning that they have at least one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist at the CDPH, said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Additionally, 54% of the state’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population is also fully vaccinated.

“Californians have come together and truly met the moment, helping save countless lives. COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations have been steadily decreasing while vaccinations have been increasing,” Pan said.

The correlated increase in vaccines and decrease in deaths and hospitalizations have allowed for most businesses to reopen with modifications, but the government hopes to totally reopen the state by June 15, when the California government hopes to get rid of most of the pandemic-related public safety mandates.

“California is doing well, but neighboring states, like Oregon and Washington, are experiencing surges and increased hospitalizations among younger people,” Pan said, adding that many places around the world, like India, are still experiencing dramatic increases in positive case rates, hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19.

Pan continued, “While we’re encouraged here in California with the low COVID-19 case rates and steady decline in hospitalizations and in our increases in vaccinations, it’s important to remember that the pandemic isn’t over yet. As a parent, daughter, wife, public health official, and infectious disease specialist, I encourage everyone to get vaccinated and encourage your friends and family to do the same to help us all get back to hugs and the other side of this pandemic.”

Misinformation and skepticism over the vaccines — currently, the only three that are cleared in the U.S. are the vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — continue to deter Californians from receiving their immunizations, but Pan assured that the vaccines .

As previously reported in the Asian Journal, clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines began last summer when each company conducted numerous, rigorous 30,000-subject  trials of their respective vaccines.

“They are all highly effective in preventing serious illness, meaning hospitalizations and deaths, and they can really protect us all from this deadly virus,” Pan affirmed. “Vaccines are really our most effective tool at protecting ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Although more and more Californians are getting vaccines, the state reminds all that doesn’t necessarily mean that people should ignore the masks and social distancing measures.

“The pandemic isn’t over yet, so we still need to wear masks when appropriate, wash our hands, watch our distance and get vaccinated. By doing our part, we will be able to get back to things that we love to do and be with people we love over the summer,” Darrel Ng, senior advisor for the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, said at the press briefing.

The CDPH recently updated the public safety guidance on gatherings and events to allow more social distancing flexibility.

Private events, meetings, receptions or conferences and indoor live events will be allowed with social distancing and mask mandates, depending on the county’s tier level. Other indoor gatherings can resume with modifications, including proof of vaccination. The CDPH also recommended that schools resume in-person instruction as soon as possible.

Klarize Medenilla

Klarize Medenilla is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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