California expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older

California is expanding eligibility for coronavirus vaccines to anyone age 65 and older, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Wednesday.

The move is an effort to speed up the rollout of shots, after the Trump administration criticized states for being too rigid with vaccination priority groups.

COVID-19 cases are surging across California, and Newsom said the move will allow nearly 6.6 million people to be vaccinated. Yet overall, the state is struggling to administer the doses on hand. In the short term, the change could help alleviate some of the bottleneck, but there’s concern that there soon won’t be nearly enough, and demand will far outpace supply.

Last week, Newsom expanded access to all health workers and relaxed guidelines for unused doses, to make sure they were not going to waste. The state said demand has subsided among health workers, making it easier to open access to people age 65 and up.

Newsom has set a goal of 1 million additional vaccines administered by the end of this week.