Bay Area counties roll out different plans, not all able to vaccinate individuals over 65 yet

ByKris Reyes KGO logo
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Bay Area counties roll out different vaccination plans
EMBED <>More Videos

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Californians 65 and older were being moved up in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next. San Mateo, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties gave updates on what that means for their vaccination distribution plans.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Mateo, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties gave updates on Wednesday about their vaccination plans.

San Mateo County public health officials say they're not ready to move beyond the first phase.

"We feel we are not yet done with phase 1A, so we don't want to move on until we've really addressed that to the best of our ability as a community," said Dr. Anand Chabra, the section chief for mass vaccination in San Mateo County.

RELATED: Individuals 75 and older now eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccination in Santa Clara County

Contra Costa and Santa Clara County both announced that they will allow anyone age 75 and older to get the vaccine.

"We are not ready to go to 65 and older yet, we're trying to fill up a lake with a garden hose right now," said Daniel Peddycord, Public Health Director for Contra Costa County.

Last week, the governor promised to vaccinate 1 million people in 10 days. As of Jan. 11, that tally sits at just over 800,000 vaccinated with 2.5 million doses already delivered to the state. We pressed for Wednesday's numbers but haven't heard back from the Governor's office.

"It's not as easy as getting the flu shot, we are slowly inching towards that," said Rebecca Rozen, regional vice-president with the Hospital Council in East Bay.

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

County health officials say they are all grappling with the complexity of vaccine distribution, including getting to people with no health insurance, older people who can't get to a vaccine site, and vulnerable populations.

San Mateo County says that's why they have an equity team to help with their plan.

"Acknowledging explicitly the negative and painful history of healthcare in the U.S. in our communities of color that have led to the mistrust in healthcare," said Shireen Malekafzali, Equity officer for San Mateo County.

Dr. Chabra said most people should expect to get the shots through their primary care provider.

"It's probably going to be into the summer, possibly the Fall before everyone who wants to be vaccinated will get a vaccine."

INTERACTIVE:California COVID-19 vaccine tracker: How the state is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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

Finally, health officials remind those who have been vaccinated to remain vigilant.

"We definitely encourage people to still do the safety precautions like the face coverings and maintaining good handwashing, to protect others," said Lizelle de Luna, Director of Family Health for San Mateo County Health.

"It takes several weeks, even after two doses to get your immune system ramped up to provide the full immunity," said Dr. Chabra.