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SF expands on state vaccine guidance for vulnerable residents

San Francisco officials Friday said they will expand Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to persons between the ages of 16 to 64 with eligible underlying health conditions and disabilities, as well individuals living in congregate settings starting Monday.

The announcement follows an update from the California Department of Public Health this week that urged providers as of Monday to “use their clinical judgement” in vaccinating people deemed highest risk between the ages of 16 and 64. The state has prioritized individuals with weakened immune systems due to cancer, chronic kidney disease (above stage 4), Down syndrome, pregnancy, certain heart conditions and severe obesity, among others.

City officials said they will broaden some of the categories for persons with cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic pulmonary disease, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, officials said they will extend eligibility to persons with HIV under the immunocompromised category. 

Also in line with state guidance, San Francisco will not ask persons who qualify to prove their condition or diagnosis, but will most likely ask people to complete an attestation form confirming their medical status.

In a statement, Mayor London Breed stressed the importance of vaccinating people in congregated settings, people with disabilities and those who have severe health conditions in order to protect the most vulnerable The City’s most vulnerable residents.

She added:

“Next week, we’ll be moving forward with expanding vaccine access in San Francisco and we’ll continue working with accessibility advocates and community members to make sure we are doing our best to reach everyone who is eligible.”

The City’s vaccination push in congregated settings will include those in homeless shelters, jails and residential treatment or care facilities. Officials said they have been working on a pilot program to obtain doses for people unable to travel to a vaccination site and they plan to scale up the program once more vaccine becomes readily available.

Officials again warned that supply of the vaccine remains limited and that first dose appointments will be hard to find as healthcare providers have been told to prioritize seconds doses in the coming weeks.

In an update Thursday from The City’s Department of Emergency Management, officials said the Department of Public Health had so far received 4,800 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot compared the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two shots.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the J&J vaccine on Feb. 27.

City officials said they planned to administer 1,000 doses of the J&J vaccine Friday at the City College of San Francisco vaccination site.

Residents can visit to check eligibility and book an appointment.

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