California state officials announced last week that anyone over 50 will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 1 and that all residents over 16 will be eligible on April 15. Additionally, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all family members taking eligible people to get their shots are now also eligible to get a shot at that time, no questions asked.
The new rules will apply to all residents of San Mateo County, but county officials say they don’t expect county-run sites to have enough doses to open their eligibility wide enough to begin with.
County Public Health Information Officer Preston Merchant said that due to continuing constraints on the county health department’s supply, county-run sites may not initially have an appointment. you available to newly eligible groups. But Merchant said residents might be able to find appointments with their health care providers or at local sites provided by the state or federal government, such as county pharmacies or health care sites. nearby mass vaccination like the Oakland Coliseum.
In a statement released last week, county health chief Louise Rogers said the county continued to have a low vaccine supply and no notice of when vaccine doses would be on its way to the county. . The county allowance hovered around 20,000 doses per week. The consistently low numbers are due to a state policy directing 40% of the vaccine supply to high-risk zip codes, none of which are in San Mateo County.
Rogers wrote that the state should start providing three-week supply projections, which will aid the county’s planning efforts. The county recently focused on delivering 12 small community events, including the Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church’s vaccination site in Half Moon Bay, while also taking its mass vaccination sites offline. ‘Events Center and at the San Francisco International Airport until the supply increases significantly.
Rogers’ statement says these mass sites will be reactivated if supply increases.
“Our work over the past few weeks to mobilize targeted, large-scale vaccination efforts positions us well to scale up and reach even greater reach faster – if there is more vaccine supply,” he said. writes Rogers.
The news comes as local health leaders, including Rogers, warn of a latest increase in COVID-19 cases. Deputy health chief Srija Srinivasan said new and future variants, which could be more transmissible, could lead to an increase in the number of cases as too few people are vaccinated to ensure herd immunity.
With more than 77% of those 65 and over and 82% of those 75 and over now vaccinated in the county, Rogers said that even if an increase materializes, she hopes the most vulnerable will be protected from the most serious effects of disease. , hospitalization and death.
“We think there might be an increase,” Rogers said. “We don’t see it in the data yet, but we know things can change quickly. “
As of last week, the county’s case rate was 4.4 cases per 100,000 population, with an overall positivity rate of 0.9%. As of Monday afternoon, 44% of county residents over 16 had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The majority of residents have been vaccinated through Kaiser Permanente, the County Health Department and Sutter Health.