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Three months after San Francisco public health officials announced the goal to vaccinate all eligible residents by June 30, city officials in charge of vaccine rollout said Thursday that they are on track to hit their target.

Department of Public Health Deputy Director Dr. Naveena Bobba and Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Caroll updated supervisors Thursday on the multifaceted vaccination effort. During the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting, health officials reported that 67 percent of residents over the age of 16, or 514,281 people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

While The City has established infrastructure to vaccinate up to 20,000 people a day, Bobba said supply continues to be the “biggest constraint.”

Despite limitations, The City’s three mass vaccination sites — Moscone Center, City College of San Francisco and the San Francisco Market — have managed to collectively vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people, Caroll said.

The Moscone Center site has vaccinated over 285,000 people since opening in February. The City’s first site, opened in January at CCSF, has so far vaccinated over 60,000 people, while the San Francisco Market site in the Bayview has vaccinated over 30,000 people.

A network of smaller neighborhood sites and mobile vaccination clinics are focusing on vulnerable residents, including homeless and homebound individuals, and those living in hard-hit communities.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney posted a Twitter message Friday to “widely publicize and promote” a neighborhood pop-up site outside Glide on Ellis Street in the Tenderloin. The Glide operation is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and accepts walk-up same-day registration. 

On the topic mobile sites, Bobba said:

“You can think of mobile vaccine as a strike team that goes out to fix gaps in our current vaccine locations.”

She said they would definitely scale up the mobile vaccine units if dose supply increases.

Teams are also heading into homeless encampments and safe sleeping sites to vaccinate people experiencing homelessness. A number of organizations who serve homeless clients are providing assistance, Bobba said.

Bobba said The City had planned to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for its mobile teams. However, because the Federal Drug Administration paused use of the J&J vaccine after six out of 6.8 million doses resulted in a rare blood clot condition, Bobba said the department is reconsidering vaccine supply for mobile units. All noted blood cases were among women.

A panel of advisors for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met Friday and recommended the U.S. resume use of the J&J vaccine with an updated label warning women under the age of 50 of the rare risk. 

Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who was not present at the meeting, but relayed her question to Supervisor Matt Haney, who chairs the committee, asked for an update on the San Francisco State University vaccination site that will no longer be operated by Safeway.

Bobba said The City is working in the interim to identify supplementary staff while the department has searches for another operator to take over the operation. The university’s website says that first-dose appointments have been suspended and that Safeway will continue to administer second doses through May 7.

Haney asked public health officials if it is still plausible to meet The City’s June 30 goal.

Bobba ensured that as long as supply continues coming in as expected and no further major issues emerge with the vaccines, The City will be able to able to provide a vaccine to all residents who want one by that time.

Bobba said:

“But, I will again caveat that with this the supply has been very unstable and, so, these are projections that are coming out of the federal government and that’s what we’re relying on.”

Editor’s Note: SFBay reached out to the San Francisco Covid Command Center for comment about the San Francisco State University vaccination site, but have yet to hear back.

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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