SF opens up vaccine eligibility to residents 16+ from 8 ZIP codes hit hard by COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 46% of San Franciscans have been vaccinated so far but as the April 15 date approaches when everyone in the state 16 and older qualifies to get vaccinated, San Francisco wanted to give seven neighborhoods a head start.

"The communities that have been the most impacted by COVID. That is where most of our vaccine goes. We really wanted to ensure that there was equitable access and priority access given to these communities," said SFDPH's Deputy Director Dr. Naveena Bobba.

On their list are eight zip codes; the Mission, Soma, the Tenderloin, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Visitation Valley and Portola Neighborhoods.

San Francisco's Department of Public Health Deputy director says they know there will be a big rush on Thursday and didn't necessarily have to wait on the state to prioritize these communities

"The state of California has provided discretion to those providers serving high impact areas on who to vaccinate," explained Dr. Bobba.

RELATED: CA to only get 12% of Johnson & Johnson vaccine allotment next week as millions become eligible

Several weeks ago Assemblymember David Chiu signed a letter with 20 legislators urging the state to change its vaccine strategy and prioritize more of the Bay Area. On Friday, he's glad San Francisco is getting a head start and that the state is listening

"Since then Gov. Newsom has committed almost eight million dollars to the Bay Area to increase vaccination access," said Assembly member Chiu.

In the Excelsior, 152 people were vaccinated Friday at a community vaccination hub. Valeria Tulier-Laiwa with the Latino Task Force is glad the city made this expansion but says there is a bigger need for community hubs.

"Because with these particular sites you can have that conversation and answer the questions with the one-on-one and it's not just kind of an assembly line of getting you through the line and getting you vaccinated," said Tulier-Laiwa

RELATED: California expecting almost 90% drop in Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines next week

Next week this group is opening a third vaccine hub in partnership with Local 261 that will be located on 18th and Shotwell.

San Francisco's DPH confirmed this week the city received 16,000 doses of the vaccine next week when the states expansion begins they're expecting 10,000.

"Within the next 10 days to 14 days the hope is that there will be enough vaccine that people can access," said Dr. Bobba.

If you live in one of these neighborhoods you can go to San Francisco general or Southeast Health Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and get vaccinated. If you are 16 you would need to go with a parent or guardian.

For now, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for those 16 and older and the only one available at Zuckerberg SF General.

"Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have not being approved for 16 and older. It's 18 and older so South East Center would be 18 and over. People need to confirm before they go," explained. Dr. Bobba.

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