San Francisco to open 3 large COVID-19 vaccination sites, mayor says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed provided clarity on the city's plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, saying the city ready to roll out a network of vaccination sites and distribute doses once the supply is available.

The city intends to open three large vaccination sites at San Francisco City College, the Moscone Center and in the Bayview District, along with pop-up sites across the city.

"We have a plan. We are moving these vaccines forward," says Mayor Breed.

The framework includes a group of high-volume interconnected vaccine sites and community-based sites that are partnered with health care providers.

RELATED: San Francisco ramping up COVID-19 vaccine distribution, accepting out-of-county patients

Breed also said the city will be working with Walgreens and Safeway to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The selection of these high-volume vaccine sites is informed by the rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalizations, and deaths in San Francisco," the Mayor's office explained in a Friday statement. "The highest rates of infection are in the Southeast sector of the city, and the City has selected the locations of vaccine sites so they are easily accessible to the residents of these neighborhoods. The City is working with the providers to ensure these facilities have everything in place to activate and begin offering vaccinations as soon as they receive sufficient vaccine supply. The sites will open and scale based on the amount of vaccine doses health care providers receive."

Distribution will depend on California and the federal government providing the vaccine supply, Breed said.

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"I'm encouraged to hear the city, which is one of the things I mentioned to them, put out a big number, said David Friedberg and added, "San Francisco needs to be at 8,000 doses a day to hit 1% of our population every day. Which will be what would get us out of the pandemic."

"One percent day makes the pandemic go away," he said.

Luz Pena: "Do you believe the target of 10,000 doses a day could be achieved under this specific new model with these healthcare providers?

David Friedberg: "It's unclear what the healthcare providers themselves are planning to do to hit those numbers. San Francisco is not taking responsibility for hitting those numbers. They are setting a goal and the expecting these healthcare providers to achieve that goal and there is no specific plan on how to do that."

RELATED: SF tech CEO proposes plan that would 'vaccinate the entire country in 30-45 days'

To expedite the process, Friedberg suggested for the city to take on the vaccination process and let people do all the paperwork online.

"You can walk in, you get a shot and get out within five minutes," said Friedberg.

Mayor Breed mentions several times that San Francisco has a limited amount of the vaccine, and on Friday San Francisco's Department of Public Health confirmed to ABC7 that the city has only received 33,975 doses to date.

16,575 of available doses are comprised of the Pfizer vaccine, where the other 17,400 of the city's doses are the Moderna vaccine.

"We're ready to ramp up even more once we have the vaccine," Breed said.

WATCH: San Francisco to open 3 large COVID-19 vaccination sites, mayor says
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The city intends to open three large vaccination sites at San Francisco City College, the Moscone Center and in the Bayview District, along with pop-up sites across the city.



The mayor acknowledged the confusion around vaccine distribution and COVID-19 in San Francisco.

"Confusion is a huge problem and clarity is essential," Breed said.

Mayor Breed adds that she will follow California's state guidelines to distribute those incoming doses.

"The federal government and the state are distributing the vaccines," Breed says. "In California, the state is giving the vaccines directly to healthcare providers. Which includes providers like Kaiser Permanente, Dignity, UCSF, and Sutter CPMC as well as our own department of public health."


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

The city has also set up a website where residents can sign up for notification of when they can get vaccinated. Users can sign up beginning Tuesday.

The city remains in phase 1A of vaccine distribution which allows for residents of long-term care facilities and health care workers to receive the vaccine.

Breed said the city has 80,000 to 90,000 front line workers to vaccinate alone.

RELATED: Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area

The mayor said the department of health and private health providers are coming together to prepare for vaccine distribution.

"My focus is setting up the city for when we do get vaccines," Breed said.

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The City of San Francisco says it is following state guidelines when it comes to vaccine distribution, prioritizing workers in health care settings and skilled nursing facilities.



Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, has confirmed cases continue to surge and right now, only 26% of ICU beds are available in the city.

"We are still seeing an increase of cases and hospitalization and out case rates are higher than they've ever been," Dr. Colfax says

Even with this plan, Dr. Colfax says most of the general public will not receive a vaccine until later in the year.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health confirmed that the City College site will open the week of Jan. 18, and the other two sites will follow in the weeks to come.

VIDEO: SF leaders point to communication 'confusion' in delayed vaccine distribution
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The equitable distribution of the vaccines continues to be top of mind for hard-hit communities and health officials in San Francisco, but poor, or lack of communication has been a major obstacle.



The equitable distribution of the vaccines continues to be top of mind for hard-hit communities and health officials in San Francisco, but poor, or lack of communication has been a major obstacle.

One of the proposed vaccine sites, at The San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market in the Bayview, is in Supervisor Shamann Walton's District.

"I feel that the state of California and even a lot of cities across the state have to move faster to make sure we get folks vaccinated, that's what we're attempting to do," said Walton.

RELATED: SF neighborhoods struggle with 'pharmacy deserts,' an issue heightened by COVID-19

But organizers, for the hard-hit Latino and Black communities, say they weren't consulted.

"It seems like the communication coming out of maybe central command, or the mayor's office, or Department of Public Health has a little bit of a lag and a little bit of confusion as to who's doing what," said Jon Jacobo, chair of the San Francisco's Latino Task Force Health Committee.

When asked what would help ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, Jacobo said, "it's going have to be on the ground community partnerships. We've talked about this for 11 months now."

But you can't have equity without access, which is why the vaccination sites are in the communities that need them most. But DJ Brookter, executive director of Young Community Developers, a non-profit in Bayview Hunters Point, points out that the sites won't work without communication.

RELATED: Sites for mass vaccinations start opening in CA, Bay Area

"Being able to be a trusted source, to really filter through that information and get that education to the community is huge and is gonna be key," Bookter said.

Brookter found out about the Bayview vaccine site on Friday when Mayor Breed announced the plan. He says knowing sooner, would have allowed them to organize earlier in the community.

"Being able to articulate when these vaccine sites are open and where they're located.... Allowing us to also understand how we can assist individuals that don't have access to connectivity with scheduling of those appointments."

The city hasn't specified when the three sites will open and how they will actually vaccinate residents.

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