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San Francisco’s Department of Public Health could run out of vaccine doses as early as Thursday, city officials said Tuesday at a Covid-19 press conference.

Mayor London Breed and DPH Director Dr. Grant Colfax said it could affect people with upcoming vaccination appointments. 

Breed said the shortage will not delay opening of a large-scale vaccination site at City College of San Francisco’s main campus, though the official launch date has yet to be determined.

Officials are partnering with healthcare providers, such as Kaiser Permanente and California Pacific Medical Center, in an effort to open mass vaccination sites. However, providers are still in the process of vaccinating their own frontline health workers and patients, Breed said.

The California Department of Public Health recently told local public health officials to halt administration of a specific Moderna vaccine lot that has shown “a higher-than-usual number of adverse events.”

State public health officials said that over a 24-hour span at one clinic vaccine site, fewer than 10 people required medical attention for possible severe allergic reactions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are possible, though rare.

Colfax said the pause has affected the supply of vaccine at the department, which the state does not plan to replace:

“This will have an impact on the city’s ability to complete already scheduled vaccinations.”

Colfax said the number of doses of vaccine shipped from the state has been inconsistent and unpredictable:

“Last week, we got 12,000 vaccines. We were expecting 12,000 this week, and this week we’re only getting 1,775. That’s just an example of why it’s so complicated right now.”

Breed said the entire city, including its health care providers, have received a total of 102,825 doses as of Tuesday. Approximately 210,000 people qualify for vaccination under the state’s first distribution tier.

A total of 28,501 San Francisco residents have so been been vaccinated. Of those, just 6,347 have received two doses.

Colfax said:

“All the vaccines allocated to the San Francisco Department of Public Health have either been administered, or earmarked for those who have been scheduled to receive a first dose and those who need a second dose.”

The City is now averaging 333 new Covid-19 cases per day and 244 people are currently hospitalized for coronavirus illness, Colfax said. Since March, a total of 29,018 people have been infected and 262 have died as a result.

Residents can sign up online to receive notification when they become eligible for the vaccine.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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