Bay Area seniors anxious to get vaccinated as governor announces plans for Californians 65 and older

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to vaccinate 1 million people in 10 days against COVID-19, but as of Jan. 11, that tally sat at just more than 800,000. And now many Bay Area seniors are confused after Newsom also announced that California will now allow anyone age 65 and over to get the vaccine.

RELATED: How can I register for a COVID-19 vaccine in California? Here's how it works in every Bay Area county

"I wanna get mine sooner or later and for me, sooner is best," said 86-year-old Walnut Creek resident, Hugh Ferguson


Like many seniors in California, Ferguson is confused about why he hasn't gotten the vaccine, when Gov. Newsom said people 20 years his junior are eligible. "I'm interested in getting the vaccine for obvious reasons. It just seems that every time I try to get it, I'm set to the side, saying we'll get back to you. Can you call next week?"

ABC7 viewers send daily emails about vaccine concerns. Pattie in Palo Alto and Ushakant in San Mateo County are older than 75 and say they are both wondering how and when to sign up for the vaccine.

Vicki and Bob in Pleasanton are 77 and 81 and can not find where they should go to get vaccinated.


Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

"People who are frustrated, I can understand that. I'm trying to figure out where I'm going to get vaccinated," said Dr. Art Reingold, a professor at UC Berkeley's school of public health.

He explained why sorting out vaccination responsibility is so complicated.

"Just to take a simple example, if you're a school teacher in San Francisco, but you live in Oakland, whose job is it to vaccinate you?" he said. "Is it the county of San Francisco where you work? Is it school teachers union? Is it your private health care provider? Is it Alameda County because you live in Alameda County?"


UCSF sent patients an email Wednesday night saying they will start vaccinating primary care patients 75 and older in the coming days. The email says, "your grouping is not determined by your doctor, but by your age and health conditions, following California Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines."

The email explains that "your doctor will not be able to request a vaccine for you or change the timing of your vaccine. Please do not contact your doctor's office as we have a centralized vaccine clinic that is managing distribution. We are not giving vaccines in doctors' offices."

UCSF also notes their vaccine supply is limited and asks patients to be patient while they send out appointment openings.

RELATED: Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine next in California? Here's who's included in phases 1A, 1B and 1C

Late Wednesday night, a Sutter spokesperson called ABC7 and said patients 75 and older can now book COVID vaccine appoints through their "my health online account." And late Thursday morning, Sutter says they will have a phone line open to book vaccine appointments, which start as soon as Thursday afternoon.

The Sutter spokesperson said that community healthcare workers in group 1A, who are non-Sutter employees, are also a priority and that the portal is still open for their vaccine appointments. Sutter is not yet moving into essential workers groups and says there is no guidance yet from the California Department of Public Health on vaccinating the 65+ group that the governor said was eligible for vaccines on Wednesday.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.