San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s Covid-19 Vaccine Plan

Johanna Miyaki

San Francisco's Mayor London Breed revealed the plan for the City's vaccine rollout out this week. "We have a plan. We are moving these vaccines forward," says Mayor Breed. As Covid-19 cases surge, a seamless execution of this plan is critical. The national vaccine rollout hasn’t gone as planned, it was expected that 20 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines woud be administered to people by the end of 2020, however, only 5 million people have received a single dose of the two-dose vaccine. The state of California has also struggled to get the vaccine in people's arms.

California’s Vaccination plan

Governor Gavin Newsom has come under fire for a lagging vaccine rollout as he continues to impose new restrictions on personal and economic activities throughout the state.

Governor Newsome has repeatedly promised that massive vaccinations would soon stop the spread of COVID-19 however only 783,436 doses of the vaccine have been administered, of the 2.5 million it had received from suppliers, as reported by the Sacramento Bee earlier this week. Governor Newsome admits, “It’s Gone Too Slowly”.

California committed to prioritize vaccines for equitable distribution to everyone in California who wants it. The state expects to have enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians in all 58 counties by summer 2021.

San Francisco’s Vaccine Rollout

Mayor London Breed announced in a press conference this week that three mass vaccination sites will open in San Francisco by next week:

  • Moscone Center
  • City College of San Francisco (Main Campus on Ocean Ave)
  • The SF Market (San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market)

Mayor Breed and the San Francisco Director of Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, have devised a plan to quickly distribute COVID-19 vaccines to as many San Franciscan’s, as soon as dosses are available. These sites will open and expand based on the amount of vaccine doses health care providers receive, with health care providers receiving most of the vaccine doses from the state.

Starting Tuesday, January 19, people who live and/or work in San Francisco can sign-up for vaccine notification at

Additional resources on the available COVID-19 vaccines and the State's prioritization plan can be found here:

Illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In a video press conference hosted by Ethnic Media Services on Wednesday January 13, speakers discussed the challenges of vaccine distribution.

Dr. William Schaffner pointed to “bottlenecks" both nationally and locally that impeded distribution. “Nationally there has been uncertainty in vaccine shipments, the locals are not exactly sure when vaccines will arrive, sometimes they arrive late, sometimes with fewer doses than expected and in some instances, as with Minnesota, vaccines were shipped to the wrong locations.”, says Dr Schaffner. “Locally, one of the first challenges came with the Pfizer vaccines that require a deep refreeze to keep it stable and intact. So, they could only be distributed to places with the proper equipment and personal to handle it. Some of that has been ameliorated with the Moderna vaccine but it all takes time”.

Robert M. Wachter, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco says he is not surprised that California is not doing very well. “We get the science right, we do not seem to get the logistics, the politics, the sociology and all the other components that have to come together, right.”, says Watcher. “If you looked at the roll out of PPE or the roll out of testing, you probably could have predicted that this would go poorly, at least under the current administration because this is complicated and required a thoughtful national plan, states were left to handle it for themselves.”

The current Stay-at-Home order and the public health order that places a mandatory quarantine of 10 days on anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area is still in place. Limited exceptions apply to people who are traveling for certain critical activities. The order strongly discourages any non-essential travel within the 10-county Bay Area region.

January COVID-19 Testing in San Francisco

San Francisco is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 positive cases and the demand for testing has increased. The city is encouraging residents who have insurance to get tested through their medical provider when possible.

The following Testing sites are free for San Francisco Residents:

CityTest SF – Alemany

100 Alemany Blvd San Francisco, CA

Eligibility: Anyone living or working in SF. No insurance required. Convenient for people on foot.

Hours: 12:30pm-4:30pm Mon, 8:30am-4:30am Tue-Thu, 8:30am-12:30pm Fri

Schedule a test

Testing provided by SF Department of Public Health in partnership with Color

CityTest SF - Piers 30/32

Pier 30 San Francisco, CA

Eligibility: Anyone living or working in SF. No insurance required. Convenient for people in vehicles.

Hours: 8am-6pm Every Day

Visit for more information.

Robert M. Wachter is on the faculty of University of California, San Francisco, where he is chairman of the Department of Medicine, the Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine, and the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine.

Dr. William Schaffner is Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Department of Health Policy as well as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee.

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Covering news and telling stories from beautiful San Francisco and beyond if the story takes me there! More than Human Interest stories, I will share stories about Interesting Humans. Not just Breaking News but news that matters to you, to the local community and the world we share. Follow me here on News Break! ~ Johanna Miyaki

San Francisco, CA

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