SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – San Francisco city officials tasked with leading the city’s COVID-19 response said Thursday that an unstable vaccine supply could stifle those plans, even though the city is on track, everyone Vaccinate residents by June.
During a hearing on the city’s vaccination distribution in the Board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of emergency management for the San Francisco Emergency Management Department, said the city had successfully vaccinated thousands of residents at its three mass vaccination sites.
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To date, approximately 285,000 people have been vaccinated at the Moscone South location, while more than 60,000 people have been vaccinated at the San Francisco City College location and more than 30,000 at the SF Market location in the Bayview District.
“We wanted, and I think we are very proud, to put these high-volume websites in places that were really accessible to people all over the city and especially in areas where COVID was prevalent,” she said. “This was really a partnership not only with our health care providers but also with employees from across the city in the many, many different departments that have participated. “
So far, 66 percent of Franciscans over 16 have received at least their first dose of vaccine.
According to Naveena Bobba, assistant director of the San Francisco Department of Health, the city has deployed mobile vaccination clinics in underserved areas such as high-case neighborhoods, senior housing areas, single-unit hotels, and prisons to ensure equitable access to the vaccine.
“We currently use one or two mobile teams every day. We could upscale that, the big problem is we don’t have the supplies, ”said Bobba. “Mobile immunization has been used in Tenderloin, South of Market, Treasure Island, Mission, Bayview, Chinatown and Nob Hill to name a few, and teams are out all over town. The greatest challenge here is the vaccine supply and the future state of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “
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The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently reviewing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on reports of patients getting blood clots.
Efforts to reach other vulnerable populations such as the homeless include equipping clinics that provide the vaccine to homeless patients and deploying mobile vaccination teams in places such as sleeping places, shelters and homeless camps. To date, more than 1,500 homeless San Franciscans have been vaccinated.
As early as January, at the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the city’s Ministry of Health expected that practically every Franciscan would be vaccinated by June.
“I think we are on the right track. Supply problems are our biggest obstacle and we have the least control over them, ”said Bobba.
“We really built this system and continue to build it where we see gaps. However, as long as the supply is there and there aren’t any major other issues with the vaccine, we’ll be able to say that until the end. In June, the vaccine reached a place where anyone who wants it should get it or be offered it. But here too I would like to point out that the supply has been very unstable, but these are forecasts by the federal government that we are relying on, ”she said.
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