San Francisco officials have begun distributing the coronavirus vaccine to inoculate its residents since Tuesday, marking one of the positive signs that people are slowly starting to fight against the pandemic.
Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax noted that the Laguna Honda skilled nursing facility has already inoculated about 90% of its residents with the first dose of the vaccine. San Francisco Mayor London Breed was optimistic that they could finish the process by Wednesday. Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Laguna Honda has been struggling to fight against the health crisis.
“Each one of these people in Laguna Honda being vaccinated is someone who will continue to have birthdays with families and visits with friends,” Breed said. She recommended everyone to get vaccinated in hopes of having more time with loved ones that so many Americans who succumbed to the virus would not be able to experience.
Many Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Laguna Honda frontline health workers also got inoculated with the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Colfax said that nearly all of the paramedics and EMTs in the area had been offered a chance to get vaccinated.
However, Colfax said it was impossible to know the exact number of people vaccinated in the city due to the vaccine allocation process. Federal and state governments are primarily responsible for the distribution of the treatments and are sent directly to health care providers.
The Department of Public Health has also inoculated about 6,000 residents after receiving their share of vaccines. A hospital representative said that the University of California, San Francisco, was able to vaccinate about 1,100 people a day.
San Francisco would continue with Phase 1B of the inoculation process after it has completed Phase 1A of inoculations. The first part of the process prioritized health care workers and nursing home residents.
While many are glad to finally receive the coronavirus vaccine, officials claim the treatment has come just a little too late in supporting the city in its fight against the COVID-19 virus. “The great news is that the vaccine is here, and it has been administered every day,” said Colfax. However, the medical professional argued the vaccine would have little effect on the massive number of new cases since the holiday season.
Officials extended San Francisco’s new stay-at-home order last week that included travel quarantine rules as the city’s intensive care unit capacity remains below the required threshold. Colfax noted that about 35% of the region’s ICU beds are still available but argued some areas have begun sending their patients due to limited spaces.