Having trouble getting vaccinated? Here are more ways to find an appointment in Santa Clara Co.

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Here are more ways to get vaccinated in Santa Clara Co.
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Searching for a COVID-19 vaccine in the Bay Area has been anything but easy. Most of us have struggled to secure an appointment. Here are some alternate ways to get one in Santa Clara County.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Searching for a COVID-19 vaccine in the Bay Area has been anything but easy. Most of us have struggled to secure an appointment, even as California prepares to expand eligibility in the coming days.

"For this week, we received 32,000 doses that can be used for first appointments," says Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County COVID-19 testing and vaccine officer. "We have put those up, most of those have been taken already."

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Santa Clara County has a "no wrong door" policy, which means you don't have to get vaccinated through your private healthcare provider. However, many people are only exploring county-run vaccination sites, which has created a bottleneck of sorts, when they could be looking at other options.

"It's good to continue checking the websites for appointments," said Fenstersheib. "They come up periodically, so it may not be there today, but there may be some appointments tomorrow."

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California is just days away from expanding vaccine eligibility on April 1 to residents ages 50 and up, but appointments will remain hard to come by until production ramps up and more vaccine is delivered to the state from federal authorities.

Retail pharmacies such as Walgreen's, CVS, Safeway, Rite-Aid, and others, get their allocation directly from the federal government. Those appointments can be found online, but if you haven't searched before, you'll need to create a profile in order to see what's available.

"All of us are really, really tired and exhausted from a difficult year," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong from UCSF School of Medicine. "The threat is very real. Right now, the sun is shining on California, but the clouds are over the East Coast, the Midwest, specifically Michigan, over Florida, and already shut down much of Europe, but we can do something about it."

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Chin-Hong says while the rollout has been far from ideal, more vaccine is on the way, which is critical as cases rise.

"Wherever you can get the vaccine, just get it, is my advice and not to really put all of your eggs in one basket, because there are multiple streams of getting the vaccine into the arms of Californians," said Chin-Hong.

Health officials say the federal government has promised a boost in vaccine supply by mid-April.

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