While officials from Los Angeles County were forced to close five mass vaccination sites temporarily Thursday, including Dodger Stadium, for lack of supply of the treatment, other distributors throughout the Bay Area prepare to improve the distribution process.
CVS Pharmacy said it would provide free appointments for health care workers and people aged 65 and older to receive their vaccine shots beginning Friday. The efforts will be spread out across more than a dozen cities in the region.
California Vaccination Process
The pharmaceutical company delayed the start of its vaccine distribution from Thursday to Friday due to a lack of supply. Officials said the majority of available appointments were already filled up by Thursday afternoon.
As a part of the federal effort, officers announced that Oakland Coliseum would open on Tuesday as they aim to deliver the vaccine more efficiently to several areas across the United States that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. BART offered free rides to residents who would be getting vaccinated at the Coliseum to their homes.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden said the United States had cooperated with pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer to supply the country with 600 million doses by the end of July, a month earlier than previously expected. In a few weeks, a third vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson, could gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raising supply further.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, expected most Americans would receive coronavirus vaccines by April. “That will be what I would call open season” for vaccines, said the medical professional. However, Fauci warned it would still take months to fully administer the vaccines.
Kids as young as those entering first grade are expected to be eligible for the vaccines by September, Fauci said.
On Thursday, San Mateo County officials announced plans to expand eligibility of the inoculations to include teachers, child care providers, first responders, and food and agricultural workers starting on February 22. The affected residents would include grocery store workers as long as vaccine supply is available.
Beginning on Monday, Marin County authorities said people aged 64 and up would be able to sign up for vaccinations. The decision was based on the eligibility that only allowed residents aged 75 and up to be inoculated.
On Thursday, Dr. Matt Willis, the San Rafael county public health officer, stood in the rain surveying a vaccination site in the region. He said Marin County would widen vaccine eligibility when more than two-thirds of residents over 65 years old. The move would allow food workers, teachers, child care workers, and emergency responders to get vaccinated.
“The only limiting factor is supply. We’ve got the locations, the staff, the syringes, the laptops. We are just waiting for the doses,” Willis said.
Elderly residents from Marin lined up in the courtyard under a large tent to get their shots in the storm. Willis, who observed the process, said that in the 75-and-over age group, Marin had vaccinated about two-thirds of its residents.
Santa Clara Supervisor Cindy Chavez said their target is to have 85% of residents vaccinated. “We’re going to be going door to door to make sure people get vaccinated,” she said, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
On Thursday, the county and San Jose officials revealed plans for pop-up vaccine sites to support areas severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Authorities said residents were not required to make appointments to get vaccinated. The site would be able to serve eligible residents aged 65 and up, regardless of their immigration status.
The Solano County Fairground was made into a coronavirus vaccination clinic, county officials and local health providers said. For eligible residents who live or work in the county, which includes health care workers, emergency responders, and people aged 75 and over, scheduled appointments were available for Friday and Saturday.