The city committed to vaccinating every resident by the end of June 2021, but is this schedule realistic?
Back in January, Matt Haney, San Francisco’s District 6 Supervisor announced that along with private health providers, the city committed to having every San Francisco resident inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine by June 30th, 2021; hoping that together they could provide 10,000 vaccine doses per day.
According to data from the SF Covid-19 Dashboard, since the city started with the vaccination program, they have not exceeded 6,000 vaccinations in a single day, leaving approximately 4,000 vaccinations unfulfilled based on the goal of 10,000 vaccine doses per day.
What is the problem?
Back at the beginning of the year, California guidelines allowed for the vaccination of residents that are 65 or older, however, health care providers like UCSF could not vaccinate residents under 75 who weren’t health care workers due to the lack of supply.
Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the city’s Department of Emergency Management said that the June target seems unlikely at the moment, pointing at the continued shortage of vaccine doses along with the closure of two mass vaccination facilities a few weeks ago as current issues.
In a statement, city representatives said:
“To-date, San Francisco has vaccinated 80% of the approximately 210,000 healthcare workers and people 65 and older who are eligible under Phase 1A. 58% percent of San Franciscans 65 and older have received at least one dose,” however: “The insufficient and inconsistent supply of COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the biggest barrier for vaccinating people quickly in San Francisco.”
It’s More Than Just Supply Issues
It was just reported by NPR that private health company One Medical allowed ineligible people to cut the line and get vaccinated.
One Medical is a membership-based health care service that charges costumers a $199 fee annually for physician care; focusing on online and tech-like medical experiences.
After these recent discoveries, the company was banned from receiving any more vaccines from San Francisco, San Mateo, and Alameda counties, with some of them even asking the company to return the remaining vaccine doses they currently have in stock.
These irregularities have happened in several company facilities across multiple states, with even The Washington State Department of Health citing a complaint they received about the company’s situation.
With current supply and irregularities issues, it becomes very obvious that it will not be possible to have every resident vaccinated by the end of June.
Even though the city has not yet finished the inoculation of all the health care workers and people 65 and older who are under Phase 1A, they just started Phase 1B of the vaccination plan, which includes people in the education, emergency, food, and agriculture sectors.
Frank Lara, a Mission District teacher said in an interview:
“This is what’s so stressful as an educator. If you’re hearing over and over, elected officials saying that you need to get back into the classroom. You need to do this, you know hearing news that we’re going to be vaccinated. You would assume that there would be a plan to get educators in line as quickly as possible. In and out.”
Lara said that scheduling the appointment for his vaccination was almost impossible, he considers himself lucky since he found an opening; especially after seeing how many of his colleagues weren’t successful doing the same. He mentioned:
“It really feels like the hunger games of vaccines for educators, no kidding.”
After seeing all these stepbacks and problems, it becomes very clear that officials need to put proper measures in place. Even if necessary, current restrictions are slowly killing the economy and causing a big impact on people’s lives, especially on their mental health.
Residents need to get back their sense of normality and in order to do that the vaccination plan needs to be fixed and run like a Swiss clock.
To know when you can get your vaccine, go to the city’s vaccine notification system. Sign up and get notified when your turn becomes available.