PEOPLE 16 AND OLDER ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN SAN FRANCISCO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Contact: San Francisco Joint Information Center, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** PRESS RELEASE ***
PEOPLE 16 AND OLDER ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE COVID-19 VACCINE IN SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco to continue equity strategy to ensure residents of hardest-hit neighborhoods receive equitable access to vaccine
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, and Director of the Department of Emergency Management Mary Ellen Carroll today announced that in accordance with state and federal guidance, all people age 16 and over in San Francisco are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Those newly eligible people age 16 and over should visit SF.gov/getvaccinated to learn about options for receiving the vaccine and to find links to schedule appointments at different vaccination sites.
Last week, San Francisco expanded eligibility to 16 and older in priority zip codes 94124, 94134, 94112, 94110, 94107, 94102, 94103, and 94130, which are communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the City will continue its efforts to ensure vaccines are administered equitably. This new expansion for all people 16 and over had originally been scheduled for April 15. In recent days, other counties in the Bay Area have begun to vaccinate people 16 and older, including Alameda County and Santa Clara County, so the City is moving sooner to open up eligibility in order to ensure access for San Francisco residents. Nearly 60% of people 16 and older in San Francisco have received at least one dose of the vaccine and the City is currently vaccinating roughly 12,000 residents per day.
“As we work to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible, this expanded eligibility is important progress in our fight against COVID-19. We’ve created a network of vaccination sites in our city, and San Franciscans are stepping up and getting vaccinated because we know that it’s our best shot to end this pandemic once and for all,” said Mayor Breed. “Even with limited supply, San Francisco continues to be well ahead of the national average for how many of our residents have been vaccinated. There’s an end to this pandemic in sight, and we’re doing everything we can to make that happen as soon as possible.”
The goal of San Francisco’s vaccination strategy is to make receiving the vaccine as convenient, comfortable and low-barrier for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has developed a robust distribution infrastructure that includes high-volume vaccination sites, neighborhood sites, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams.
Across these efforts, San Francisco is averaging almost 12,000 doses a day, and nearly 60% percent of San Franciscans 16 and older have received at least one dose. More than 30% percent of San Franciscans have been fully vaccinated. Eighty-four percent of San Franciscans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 68% percent have been fully vaccinated.
“As eligibility expands citywide, we remain focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccine for those neighborhoods that have been most impacted by this pandemic,” said Dr. Grant Colfax. “We will continue to work with our community partners to ensure that vulnerable communities have ready access to the vaccine. With limited supply, we know that booking an appointment right away might be challenging, but we are expecting more vaccine towards the end of the month. I want to reassure everyone who is eligible that your opportunity is coming soon. In the meantime, please be patient, wear your masks, practice physical distancing and good hygiene, and choose outdoor over indoor activities. Together, we can keep our curve flat and our city reopening.”
Despite this significant progress, insufficient vaccine supply remains the single biggest factor limiting the City’s vaccination effort. Because supply remains extremely limited while eligibility is expanding, it may take a number of weeks to find an available appointment. Eligible individuals should continue to be patient, should keep checking the website, and should accept the first vaccine that is offered, with the exception of people 16 and 17 years old, for whom Pfizer is currently the only approved vaccine. If San Francisco receives sufficient supply to meet the City’s distribution capacity, over 80% of adults could be vaccinated with first doses by mid-May.
San Francisco’s commitment to an equitable vaccination strategy has focused on reaching communities that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, including the Latino community and neighborhoods in the southeast of the city. A higher proportion of the Department of Public Health (DPH)-administered vaccinations have gone to people of color than the total citywide vaccinations. For example, the Latino population represents 14% percent of the City’s vaccine eligible population and has received more than 26% of DPH’s vaccinations. The vaccine dashboard also shows that the top three neighborhoods receiving the largest amount of DPH-controlled vaccines are the Bayview, Mission, and Excelsior.
“Equity is a critical element of San Francisco’s vaccination program. This is why San Francisco’s vaccine network emphasizes distribution and outreach in communities disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “Partnering with community organizations allows us to work with trusted partners that help ensure that our vaccine operations and our outreach and engagement are conducted in a culturally appropriate and effective manner.”
Following today’s announcement from the CDC and FDA, San Francisco has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution until more is learned about the potential side effects. To date San Francisco has administered more than 33,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to residents with no known cases of blood clotting. As this adverse event is reported to be extremely rare with just over six reported cases nationwide, the City does not believe there is cause for immediate alarm. However, people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their primary healthcare provider if they have concerns or if they develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the City. DPH will continue to monitor the situation and will look forward to hearing the outcome from the CDC’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices tomorrow to better understand the significance of these cases.
The state informed the City last week to expect a 33-35% percent decrease in the vaccine supply for the month of April caused by near-term supply challenges at the national level, as well as increasing proportions of California vaccines being delivered through the federal direct allocation programs to Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies. Additionally, the City’s supply of Johnson & Johnson would decrease by upwards of 90% percent due to federal manufacturing issues. As the City only received 500 doses of Johnson & Johnson (out of 10,000 doses total) this week, this pause will not have a significant impact on this week’s vaccination efforts.
Vaccine Appointment Information
In order to assist individuals with accessing appointments, the City has set up a call center to help people, especially those who are 65 and older, those with disabilities and those who are unable to easily access the internet or schedule an appointment through their provider. Individuals may call to learn about vaccine options and receive assistance in booking an appointment to some locations. The number is (628) 652-2700.
Muni and Paratransit are free for anyone traveling to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is also providing additional access to taxi service for those using the Essential Trip Card. Information can be found at sfmta.com/COVID and sfmta.com/paratransit.
Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco and is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can go to SF.gov/getvaccinated to find vaccination locations and make an appointment. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine in San Francisco at SF.gov/covidvaccine.