At the same time as San Francisco strikes increase vaccine eligibility Wednesday to 168,000 academics, grocery retailer workers and emergency responders who dwell or work within the metropolis, some could discover they can not get their first-dose pictures for an additional two or three weeks.
It is because, like many well being departments and suppliers throughout the state, San Francisco is prioritizing second-dose pictures. Meaning they’re giving second pictures to individuals who received their first pictures a couple of weeks in the past, and delaying appointments for first pictures for brand new recipients till they get extra vaccine. Each vaccines at the moment out there in the US, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are given in two pictures, 21 days or 28 days aside.
About 91,000 San Franciscans are resulting from get their second dose within the subsequent two to 3 weeks, in accordance with the division of public well being. San Francisco tasks that within the subsequent two weeks, the variety of first-dose appointments will lower considerably in comparison with the final two weeks.
Excessive-volume vaccination websites that get vaccine provide from regional well being care suppliers are equally delaying first-dose appointments till they get a brand new inflow of vaccine. The vaccination website at Metropolis School, run by San Francisco and UCSF, is just doing second doses this week, apart from on Thursday, which is scheduled for first doses, stated UCSF spokeswoman Kristen Bole. Subsequent week can even be second doses solely, except UCSF receives extra vaccine that will allow the location to do first doses too.
Sutter Well being is suspending first-dose appointments in any respect of its 9 large-scale Northern California vaccination websites, together with at SF Market within the Bayview, resulting from a scarcity of vaccine. It’s going to reopen appointments “as quickly as extra vaccine is made out there to us,” stated Sutter spokeswoman Monique Binkley Smith.
Individuals could have extra luck making first-dose appointments on the Oakland Coliseum, which will get its vaccine allocations straight from the federal authorities. That is partially as a result of it opened final week, whereas different websites which have been open for a number of weeks at the moment are doing extra second doses than first. San Francisco’s Moscone Middle, which makes use of vaccines from Kaiser, can even do first-dose and second-dose appointments as soon as it reopens Thursday, in accordance with a Kaiser spokesman. The Moscone website has been closed since mid-February due to low vaccine provide.
Whereas the delays in first-dose appointments could also be irritating, this cadence was anticipated.
“These are challenges with any two-dose routine,” stated Dr. Matt Willis, well being officer for Marin County, which throughout the “leanest” weeks has performed way more second doses than first doses and at instances apprehensive it didn’t even have sufficient second doses for everybody. “But it surely’s not a shock. The problem arises when that’s mixed with unpredictability of provide. And shortage … It’s an operational actuality.”
Most suppliers haven’t been setting apart second doses — this technique would have considerably slowed their means to vaccinate as many individuals as attainable, quick — however fairly getting as many first doses into arms as attainable. Some suppliers say they’re anticipated to make use of up all doses every week to obtain extra.
“We’ve been — I feel it’s the apply in most jurisdictions — treating our doses as doses and vaccinating as many new (individuals) as we are able to,” Willis stated. “And as that second-dose timing rolls round, that’s when now we have to ‘rob’ from the primary dose, from doubtlessly newly vaccinated individuals to verify we’re protecting the second dose.”
Catherine Ho is a San Francisco Chronicle employees author. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Cat_Ho