Here's how SF is ensuring vaccines reach underserved communities

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As more people become eligible for the vaccine, some worry that underserved communities will be left behind. But on Friday, more than 100 vaccines were delivered to the people living at this low-income housing unit in Chinatown.

At a time when the supply is lagging, the message was reassuring.

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

"If you can't come to us, we're going to bring it to you," explains Dr. Sunny Pak of the Chinatown Public Health Center.

Ermei Wu, a Chinatown resident said she had no doubts about getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine today. She even brought her parents.

"She felt it was important to get vaccinate to continue her work and take care of her family," said her interpreter.

With a new group of people eligible for the vaccine, Governor Gavin Newsom says the equity measures to vaccinate the most underserved communities will remain in place.

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"So we're not going to back off on that commitment," maintained Newsom.

But that only includes two zip codes in San Francisco, one in the Tenderloin and the other on Treasure Island.

Mayor London Breed maintains the other underserved neighborhoods will also be given priority.

"We have mobile sites, we have people who are going to certain neighborhoods where we see high infection rates who are providing the vaccine to people," said Mayor Breed.

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Doctor Pak says another challenge is convincing people the vaccine is safe and effective.

"Just because you build it doesn't mean they all come," he added.

The San Francisco Health Department says that's why mobile and community-based sites are so important to maintain that equity.

"Outreach is incredibly important and we certainly can't do it without supply," insisted Kathy Tang of the San Francisco Health Department.

The city expects to have 50% of people in San Francisco vaccinated by this weekend. That number would be higher if supply matched the demand for the vaccine.

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

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