LOS ANGELES — With California's summer coronavirus surge worsening, officials are unveiling new rules, redoubling efforts to get more people to wear masks and even employing some pointed remarks as part of an urgent campaign to boost vaccinations and slow the rapid spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
The state Wednesday urged everyone — even those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — to wear masks indoors while in public, joining a renewed national push to increase protection amid an ongoing spike in cases.
But the ultimate goal is to convince those who have not been vaccinated to get their shots, which experts say is vital to reverse the surge.
And there are some early signs of movement among Californians who, to this point, have remained on the fence.
From July 18 to 24, providers throughout the state administered an average of just more than 64,000 vaccines a day — about 3,100 more daily doses than the week before.
At first glance, a 5% increase doesn't seen that significant. But officials say any uptick is welcome.
"Our sense of urgency to increase vaccination amongst residents remains very high, and we're glad for any signs of increased vaccination uptake," LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
About 53% of Californians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data compiled by the Los Angeles Times.
A bigger slice of the state, about 61%, has received at least one vaccine dose. But officials emphasize that it's vital for anyone who received their first shot of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna to complete their vaccine regimen so they can be as protected as possible.
Getting more people vaccinated remains a challenging — and individualized — puzzle, and health officials have stepped up community clinics, mobile immunization programs and community outreach.