SF pausing mass COVID-19 vaccine distribution due to supply shortage

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco is pausing coronavirus vaccine distribution at one of its mass vaccination sites due to "lack of supply," city officials announced Sunday.

"We've made progress and it really is hard to pause operations none of us want to do it but it is temporary, we know we will get more vaccine, and it does appear to be a supply chain production issue," says Mary Ellen Carroll with San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management.

The Moscone site will close for at least one week, and will reopen once there is a supply sufficient enough to resume operation, officials said.

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Officials say the pause is due to a lack in supply and the City College mass vaccination site will also close until Friday, at which time only second doses will be given. It's not a surprise to many across the Bay.

Those like Diane Cassano who struggled to get her 90-year-old father Pasquale in South San Francisco an appointment.

"She started saying, 'How bout Fremont? Oh there's no opening there. How bout Hayward?' I was like I'll get him anywhere we can go, and she said honestly there are no openings," said Cassano.

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After weeks of trying, Cassano said she finally got an email Saturday morning lining up her father to get the vaccine in an SFO parking lot this week. Dr. Dean Winslow of Stanford Health Care spoke with us about some of the supply problems.

"Clearly we were not prepared for this pandemic so what you're seeing with glitches like this having to pause vaccinations is really just a manifestation of the fact that we really were not prepared for this pandemic," said Dr. Winslow.

San Francisco's COVID-19 Joint Information Center says the city has the capacity to administer more than 10,000 vaccines per day, but lack the supply.

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"The vaccine supply coming to San Francisco's healthcare providers and the Department of Public Health (DPH) is limited, inconsistent, and unpredictable, making vaccine roll out difficult and denying San Franciscans this potentially life-saving intervention," officials said.

San Francisco is moving forward with opening a third mass vaccination site this week. It will be at the Produce Market in the Bayview, but with limited appointments.

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Spots will only open when the city has enough vaccine on hand.

San Francisco says it needs more than 1.5 million doses to vaccinate more than 760,000 residents over age 16.

As of Feb. 13, San Francisco received 262,000 doses and administered more than 190,000 doses to San Franciscans and surrounding Bay Area residents, officials said.

The remaining vaccine doses are set aside for scheduled first appointments and scheduled second doses.

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