'Thank you': Santa Clara Co. hits major COVID-19 vaccine milestone, thousands of new appointments available

One million residents in Santa Clara County have now received at least one dose of vaccine, marking what many are calling a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With a significant boost in COVID-19 vaccine supply from the federal government, the Bay Area's largest county is making tremendous progress in its vaccination efforts.

As of Friday, one million residents in Santa Clara County have now received at least one dose of vaccine, marking what many are calling a turning point in the pandemic.

"To all the folks who've been working to get folks vaccinated, a very, very sincere thank you, and for all of you who got vaccinated, a very, very sincere thank you," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who joined county leaders in announcing the major milestone.

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Overall, nearly a third of the county's eligible population have been fully vaccinated. But despite the positive news, officials are reminding the public to stay the course by continuing to wear their masks and maintain their distance.

"We're celebrating today but we still have a ways to go," said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county's COVID-19 testing and vaccine officer. "The more people that get vaccinated, the safer it's going to be, the less chance for viral spread, the less chance for mutations and additional variants."

Moving forward, the county says it'll be shifting its strategy to help close vaccine equity gaps in hard-hit areas such as East San Jose.

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Starting next week, the county's pop-up clinics at Overfelt High School and Eastridge Mall will transition completely to walk-ups. Officials will also focus on expanding weekend and evening appointment availability at various locations such as the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

"We're incredibly fortunate to have vaccine supply, but we know that we have a lot of work to do still to ensure that our hardest hit communities have the access that they need," said County Deputy Executive Dr. Rocio Luna.

County leaders say they'll continue their push to get as many people vaccinated as possible, including the roughly 40% of residents who haven't received a shot.

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"It's just recently that we've had plenty of doses to go around, so after so many long and difficult months, we can now see a very clear path out of this pandemic," said Dr. Sara Cody, the county's public health officer.

To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Santa Clara County, or to see which sites are offering walk-ups, click here.

For more help finding a vaccine, check out our guide to booking a vaccine appointment in every Bay Area county.

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