The grim milestone, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, was hit with stunning speed, as California reached 2 million reported cases on Dec. 24.
The first CCP virus case in California was confirmed last Jan. 25. It then took 292 days to get to 1 million infections on Nov. 11 and 44 days to top 2 million.
California’s caseload is also far ahead of other large states, with Texas at over 2 million and Florida topping 1.5 million.
The state has recorded more than 33,593 deaths related to COVID-19, according to official California state figures published Monday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a statement on Twitter, said California has administered more vaccines than any other state, “getting 40 [percent] of our doses out and in the arms of our health care workers and most vulnerable.”
State authorities said that, as of Jan. 17, providers have reported administering a total of 1,393,224 vaccine doses statewide, out of a total of 3,226,775 vaccine doses delivered. So far, the state has vaccinated fewer than 2,500 people per 100,000 residents, a rate that falls well below the national average, according to federal data.
“But we still need to do more,” Newsom said, dovetailing with remarks he made earlier in January, when he decried California’s immunization rate as “not good enough.”
“We continue to ramp up our efforts with the goals of speed, equity, and safety,” Newsom said Monday, noting that the state has rolled out more sites, more vaccinators, and expanded eligibility criteria to vaccinate more Californians.
Texas continues to lead the nation in vaccine administration after it became the first state to vaccinate a million residents against the CCP virus.
It comes as the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration been criticized at a time when the pandemic death toll has continued to rise. Nearly 400,000 Americans have reportedly died due to the CCP virus, according to a Johns Hopkins tally.
Health officials said last year they projected 20 million Americans getting vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2020, but that number ended up being under 4 million. Around 31.2 million doses of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines have been distributed in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while just under 12.3 million doses have been administered as of Jan. 15.
California is placing its hopes on mass vaccinations to reduce the number of infections but there have been snags in the immunization drive. On Sunday, Dr. Erica S. Pan, the state epidemiologist, urged providers to stop using one lot of a Moderna vaccine because some people needed medical treatment for possible severe allergic reactions.
Fewer than 10 people, who all received the vaccine at the same community site, needed medical attention over a 24-hour period, Pan said. No other similar clusters were found.
Pan did not specify the number of cases involved or where they occurred.
Six San Diego health care workers had allergic reactions to vaccines they received at a mass vaccination center on Jan. 14. The site was temporarily closed and is now using other vaccines, KTGV-TV reported.
Moderna said in a statement that the company “is unaware of comparable adverse events from other vaccination centers which may have administered vaccines from the same lot.”
The CDC has said COVID-19 vaccines can cause side effects for a few days that include fever, chills, headache, swelling, or tiredness. These effects are normal and a sign that the “body is building protection,” according to the CDC.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.