Vaccine distribution in Santa Clara County falls well below expectations

Vaccine distribution in Santa Clara County falls well below expectations
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By Wesley Severson - Published on January 09, 2021.

Like many other areas of the county, Santa Clara County announced today that it is falling behind in coronavirus vaccine distribution and has given out less than half of its inventory.

During a press conference by the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health, officials announced that 47,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered so far to the county’s 110,000 health care workers and 30,000 seniors in elder care facilities.

Overall, the county has received around 110,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines but almost 123,000 doses have been allotted for the county.

The county says that about 17,000 hospital workers are expected to get their second doses in the next few days.

“We are trying to get through Phase 1A as fast as we can. It’s an all hands on deck effort. As soon as we are confident that the people eligible for Phase 1A have made their appointment, then we will be able to transition to Phase 1B,” said Santa Clara Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody.

According to KPIX, if vaccines continue to be administered at this pace everyone in the county won’t be vaccinated until September of 2023.

Santa Clara County COVID-19 Testing Officer Marty Fenstersheib says he believes part of the reason for the slower rollout is that some health care workers at private hospitals don’t trust or are fearful of the vaccine.

“It brings up the issues of people’s fears about safety. I think once we get over that hump and people accept the vaccine more readily, you’ll see that number rise considerably,” Fenstersheib said at the press conference.

Santa Clara County plans to increase its number of daily vaccinations to 6,000 per day by January 15th.

At that pace, the Mercury News reports, it would take 9-months to administer 1.6 million vaccinations in the county or 85% of the people which is the percentage the county believes it needs to hit to achieve herd immunity.

The county also announced today that vaccinations are now available to all health care workers and they hope to expand into the next group by February depending on whether they get the vaccine shipments they are expecting.

The next phase of people to get the vaccine are supposed to people 75 years old and older, along with teachers and other groups of workers that are deemed highly essential.

As KTVU reports, the county has opened 3 new vaccination locations this week alone and are planning to open a 4th larger site sometime next week but so far there are no details about the location.