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Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California will aim to fully reopen its economy on June 15 if COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low and vaccine supplies adequately cover people ages 16 and older, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: More people have died of the coronavirus in California than in any other state. Newsom has faced a growing recall effort in recent months as Californians have called on him to lift heavy-handed restrictions on businesses.

What he's saying: "We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic," Newsom said at a briefing. "We will need to remain vigilant and continue the practices that got us here — wearing masks and getting vaccinated — but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter."

  • 20 million doses have been administered in California, with 4 million doses administered "under the more important equity metric," Newsom said. California has put aside 40% of its vaccine doses for its hardest-hit communities, Reuters reports.
  • "Those two milestones are significant," Newsom said. But the coronavirus and its variants are "still prevalent, still deadly, still a challenge that we need to tackle," he added.
  • The governor maintained the importance of following social distancing, and he said a mask mandate will remain in place even as restrictions are lifted.

The big picture: About 34.2% of California's over-16 population has received one dose, while 18.1% are fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

  • The state has been receiving around 1 million to 2 million vaccines per week from the federal government in recent weeks, Newsom said.

Go deeper

Biden sets new April 19 deadline for all adults to be eligible for vaccine

President Biden. Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline for states to make all American adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine to April 19, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The announcement means states will be pressured to make all Americans 16 years and older eligible for the vaccine two weeks earlier than the original May 1 deadline, reflecting a growing confidence in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Apr 6, 2021 - World

Vaccinating Africa: Countries struggle to deliver the few shots they've got

Registering for a vaccine, in Thika, Kenya. Photo: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg via Getty

The first shipment of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines finally arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 3. One month later, they’re still sitting in a warehouse in the capital, Kinshasa.

Why it matters: Africa is at the back of the global line for vaccines, and most countries only expect enough doses to cover a fraction of their populations this year. But in some cases, even those limited supplies may not be fully deployed before they expire.

Apr 6, 2021 - Health

Health industry grapples with COVID vaccine mandates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As coronavirus vaccines become less scarce, employers such as nursing homes and hospitals are debating whether to require their employees to be vaccinated, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Health care workers often interact with the members of society most vulnerable to severe coronavirus infections, making a particularly strong case for vaccine mandates.