California vaccinations could start Monday, but it won’t slow COVID-19 crisis imperiling hospitals

California will begin providing the COVID-19 vaccine as early as Monday, but officials warned the initial shipment of roughly 327,000 doses won’t alter the rapidly deteriorating conditions in state hospitals as the virus rages out of control.

Medical workers were expected to get the first doses of vaccine through a limited number of hospitals in California that include Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA Health and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Officials expect to get more doses of the vaccine later this month and again in early January.

It’s a welcome glimmer of hope. But it is expected to be months before the vaccine hits the general population in significant numbers. And that leaves health officials struggling with an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 that has swept through California.

On Saturday, officials announced another troubling milestone as the Central Valley hit 0% remaining emergency room capacity. Remaining capacity of Southern California ICUs fell to just 5.3% as officials expected many days of rising cases among people infected over Thanksgiving.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

A Los Angeles Times graph shows increasing COVID-19 hospitalization rates in California between April and December 2020.

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