California to open COVID-19 vaccine to people with disabilities, underlying health problems

California officials on Friday said that people between the ages of 16 and 64 who are disabled or at high risk for morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 will be eligible to be vaccinated beginning next month.

The move comes after weeks of debate over who will get to the front of the line for precious doses, which remain in short supply. Officials estimate the move will make 4 million to 6 million more people eligible for the vaccine, bringing the total number of Californians eligible to between 17 million and 20 million, or about half the state.

But supplies remain very limited. Based on current allocation projections, California won’t come close to meeting demand for some time. It will ultimately be up to local providers to decide who gets the vaccine immediately, with medical workers, first responders, people 65 and over, teachers and essential workers all vying for shots.