San Francisco expands vaccine eligibility
Nearly 50% of the adult population of San Francisco have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
San Francisco, California – Mayor London N. Breed and the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that under state and federal guidelines, anyone age 50 and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This significant increase in vaccination eligibility comes as the city nears a major milestone in its unprecedented vaccination effort: Nearly half of San Francisco’s people aged 16 and over have now received at least one dose of the vaccine. The vaccine has not yet been approved by the FDA for use in children under the age of 16.
In addition to providing the vaccine to nearly half of the adult population, San Francisco has made significant strides in making the vaccine available to the elderly population. 82% of San Franciscans 65 and older received at least one dose of the vaccine and 62% were fully vaccinated. These high vaccination rates in the 65-year-old and older populations are particularly important as the elderly are most at risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
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“The end of this pandemic is in sight and we are doing everything we can to make it happen as soon as possible.”
London Breed, SF Mayor
“This is another big step in our fight against COVID-19. San Francisco has been following science during this pandemic, whether it meant taking action early last year when the virus first circulated or taking precautions like wearing a mask. Now the Franciscans are stepping up and getting vaccinated because we know that it is our best attempt to end this pandemic once and for all, “said Mayor Breed. “That’s why San Francisco is way above the national average for the number of vaccinated residents. This weekend we will reach another important milestone as 50% of our residents have received a vaccine. The end of this pandemic is in sight and we are doing everything we can to make it happen as soon as possible. “
Supply problems remain a hurdle
Despite these significant advances, inadequate vaccine supplies remain the single largest factor limiting the city’s vaccination needs. Those aged 50 and over should visit sf.gov/getvaccinned for information on options for getting the vaccine and links to booking appointments at various vaccination sites. As the offer remains extremely limited while the entitlement is extended, it can take a few weeks to find an available date. Eligible individuals should continue to be patient, keep checking the website, and accepting the first vaccine offered. If San Francisco receives sufficient supplies to meet the city’s sales capacity, over 80% of adults could be vaccinated with first doses by mid-May.
On March 15, in accordance with state guidelines, the city expanded eligibility for people with disabilities and serious underlying illnesses, people living in congregations such as prisons and shelters, and people affected by homelessness. Eligible are also people aged 65 and over, people who work in the areas of health care, nutrition and agriculture, education and childcare, and emergency services. The state government announced that on April 15, all Californians over the age of 16 will be eligible for the vaccine.
“Extending eligibility to people 50 and older is an important step in our larger goal of fully vaccinating San Francisco. But even as eligibility increases, we need to continue to focus on making the vaccine available to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach people and communities, ”said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Public Health. “With full and equitable vaccination efforts, we can protect our city and end this pandemic. This urgency is compounded by rapidly rising case rates in other parts of the country as well as increasing cases locally. “
The aim of the city’s vaccination strategy is to make obtaining the vaccine as convenient and convenient as possible for as many people as possible, especially in areas that are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has developed a robust distribution infrastructure that includes large-scale vaccination sites, neighborhood locations, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams.
Recently, the city’s vaccination infrastructure has expanded to include new locations and new ways to distribute the vaccine. In partnership with communities hardest hit by COVID-19, the city is well on its way to opening two more vaccination sites in the neighborhood in the next two weeks. In addition to new locations, mobile vaccination teams have grown across the city to bring the vaccine directly to communities that cannot easily access high-volume vaccination sites. This includes a visit by the mobile vaccination team on Saturday March 27th to Treasure Island, where mobile teams will perform regularly over the coming weeks. Mobile vaccination teams are also active in retirement homes, emergency shelters and senior centers across the city.
San Francisco’s commitment to an equitable vaccination strategy has centered on reaching communities hard hit by the pandemic, including the Latino community and neighborhoods to the southeast of the city. A higher proportion of DPH-administered vaccinations went to people of color than total city-wide vaccinations. For example, the Latino population makes up 14% of the city’s total population and has received more than 26% of the DPH vaccinations, compared to 12% across the city. The vaccine dashboard also shows that the top three neighborhoods receiving the most DPH-controlled vaccines are Bayview, Mission, and Excelsior.
To help individuals access appointments, the city has set up a call center to help people, especially those 65 and over, people with disabilities, and those who cannot easily access the internet or make an appointment through their provider. Individuals can call to learn more about vaccination options and assistance with booking an appointment for some locations. The number is (628) 652-2700.
Free ammo and paratransit
Muni and Paratransit are free for anyone traveling to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency offers additional access to taxi service for those using the Essential Trip Card. Information can be found at sfmta.com/COVID and sfmta.com/paratransit.
The distribution of a national vaccine during a pandemic is an unprecedented event, and DPH is working with health care providers to get as many people vaccinated as possible as quickly as possible while following federal and state prioritization guidelines. In the meantime, it is important that all Franciscans continue to follow all public health recommendations to wear a mask when you are not at home, cough in your elbows, wash your hands, and stay six feet away from others whenever You must be in public places. and help your local health department gather information to let people know about possible infections. These steps will help protect you and those around you while COVID-19 is floating around and, along with the vaccine, are critical to ending the pandemic.
Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco can sign up for a notification at SF.gov/vaccinenotify if they are eligible to be vaccinated. The city will continue to provide regular updates on the vaccine to the public in San Francisco at SF.gov/covidvaccine.