'I've been here six nights': SF residents struggle to secure COVID booster appts before holidays

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
SF residents strike out in finding COVID booster appointments
Governor Newsom says everyone 18 and older should get a booster ahead of the holidays, but it turns out that's easier said than done.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Governor Newsom and California health officials say they want everyone 18 and older to get a booster ahead of the holidays, but it turns out that's easier said than done.

The CVS on Van Ness Avenue near Jackson Street in San Francisco has become a popular spot come dinner time, with people lining up at the end of the day for a chance at a booster shot.

"I've been waiting for a long time to get a booster, I wanted to do it before I was travelling, but I can't get an appointment until December," said Linda Myrick, who has been to the CVS three nights in a row to wait for an extra booster dose.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom pushes for more COVID vaccinations, booster shots ahead of holidays

People who did have appointments at the CVS Tuesday night said they made them at least a week ago.

Kate Larsen: "How many hours have you waited?"

Linda Myrick: "Not that many hours because when I get here they tell me there's no more shots."

But Linda's experience seems contrary to what Governor Newsom said Tuesday.

"If you have been vaccinated and it's been six months now you can get a booster shot 18 and over. California was the first state to say get a booster shot. They are in abundance," he said.

VIDEO: CA's new COVID-19 booster policy creates confusion; here's how to navigate an appointment

There is now widespread confusion in California about who can book a booster appointment and how.

Linda's not the only one who might disagree with Newsom. Hoping for a booster herself, San Francisco resident, Shelly Guyer, has been to the CVS six times!

"There is no way to go online and get an appointment before middle of December," said Guyer, who hopes booster logistics catch up with the official advice.

"I hope the state opens up some of the large centers. I got my original two at city college, which was wonderful and very easy and I don't understand why they can't be doing something like that this time."

Meanwhile, California's Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that a statewide "week of action" actually started Monday, to encourage entire families from young kids to grandparents to get COVID shots.

RELATED: CA health officials encourage all adults to get booster shots as winter surge fears grow

ABC7 News reporter, Kate Larsen, asked California health officials where and how they expect entire families to get vaccinated and boosted before Thanksgiving when it's hard to get even one shot right now. As of air time, CDPH had not responded.

A bit of anecdotal advice - try mixing up your pharmacy location. The Walgreens on Geary Blvd and 17th Ave. in the Richmond District had much less evening vaccine traffic on Tuesday.

11-year-old Asadbeck Asashrabboyev just got his first dose. "It went okay, didn't hurt too much."

His mom has a booster appointment this Friday. As for making those family appointments, she said, "I think difficult, yes. Difficult."

It's possible on Friday, the CDC and FDA could expand booster eligibility for people across the U.S.