Newsom visits Stockton Arena as California’s vaccine eligibility expands to 16 and up

California

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Governor Gavin Newsom applauded Stockton’s mass vaccination hub at the city’s arena Thursday, and says it’s ready to handle more people coming through the site as more vaccines become available.

Aiden Pogue, 18, has been waiting for this day since his senior year in high school was upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was kind of shock. First, you’re at school and the next you’re sitting at home. There no graduation, there’s no celebration that you normally expect to see at the end of the year so it was kind of a disappointment,” Pogue said.

Thursday the state expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older. Pogue already had his appointment booked. 

“I’m just ready to get the vaccine and get this quarantine stuff over with, hopefully get back out there and socialize again,” Pogue said.

Gov. Newsom returned to Stockton to tour the Stockton arena vaccination hub and give an update on the state’s vaccine effort. 

“April 15, well known as Tax Day, is no longer Tax Day in California. April 15 is ‘Vax Day,'” Newsom said. “Everybody that wishes to get a vaccine has that opportunity.”

Newsom says this latest milestone comes as nearly half of everyone eligible has gotten at least one dose. 

“This is a really remarkable moment in this pandemics history where we are very close to turning the page, but still more work to be done,” Newsom said.

For the first time since the pandemic began, every county in the state is out of the purple most restrictive tier.  

“The sooner you get vaccinated, the sooner our small businesses will get back up on their feet, the sooner we will fully reopen the economy, and we will get this pandemic behind us,” Newsom said.

For young people like Pogue, getting his shot means getting back to normalcy.

“I’m hoping to go see my family and just talk to them again and just be together with everybody. Yeah, it’ll be great,” Pogue said.

The governor said the only thing holding back this site and the state from vaccinating even more people is the supply. 

He believes more doses will become even more widely available within the next few weeks. 

You can find and schedule an appointment at myturn.ca.gov.

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