(Photo via Marco Verch/Flickr)

Figures on COVID-19 vaccinations are coming soon to San Mateo County, health officials said Wednesday.

During a COVID-19 media briefing, Deputy Chief of San Mateo County Health Srija Srinivasan said that the county will post more vaccination information on its website by next week.

Srinivasan said the county is taking its time to ensure that data is accurate before sharing with the public.

“There’s a lot of messiness in the data that we’re working through and we want to make sure it’s accurate before communicating to the public in a way that’s really aiming to earn trust and keep trust,” Srinivasan said.

To date, San Mateo County has received 25,800 first vaccine doses and 22,354 of these have been administered through county channels — such as a drive-thru clinic last week which vaccinated 9,550 people over seven days. A second clinic will be set up for people to receive the second dose.

The county is prioritizing vaccination for Phase 1A individuals, which includes health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, and will transition to Phase 1B as more vaccine doses arrive. The phases align with the state’s vaccination plan, available at https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/.

The county’s health department is focused on vaccinating people without health plans or those who cannot access the vaccine elsewhere. The bulk of vaccination is done by large health systems like Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health — known as “multi-county entities” or MCEs — which have a separate allotment of vaccines.

Regarding the doses of the Moderna vaccine that were halted due to state officials reporting a “higher-than-usual” number of allergic reactions, Srinivasan said that the county’s vaccine allocation had not been affected but some of the MCEs were.

“I can confirm that the lot that had to be paused was not used in any of the doses directly allocated to the county, either for our administration or for redistribution to other health care partners,” Srinivasan said. “We did quickly poll the multi-county entities that operate in our county to ask if any of them were affected, and we know that three of them were and had to pause those Moderna doses and figure out a plan B to keep up with their vaccinations this week.”

Though the vaccine provides a glimmer of hope, the county remains in a period of “widespread transmission”, Srinivasan said. It is likely that more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus found in other counties are also present in San Mateo County.

“These variants are more transmissible, so the contagion is greater,” Srinivasan said. “These variants make it even more important to adhere to those precautions.”

COVID-19 precautions include wearing a face mask in public, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding gatherings. Srinivasan also encouraged people to isolate themselves at any sign of COVID-19 exposure and get tested if they suspect they have the virus.

County Manager Mike Callagy commended Srinivasan and other members of the county’s health team for planning and running last week’s vaccination clinic. Callagy said the county plans to partner with another health care provider to provide more drive-thru vaccinations to eligible persons.

The county will also create a site where qualified volunteers — such as physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, nursing students or medical students — can sign up ahead of time to help vaccinate people when more vaccine doses arrive in future.

The county’s COVID-19 response continues via its business compliance team, a Great Plates program and free mask distribution.

The business compliance team has received 1,170 complaints about businesses disobeying COVID-19 safety protocol. The team administered 120 warnings and 28 administrative citations to repeat violators, for a total of $29,250 in fines.

Over 3,000 eligible seniors are receiving free meals via the county’s Great Plates program.

As of Tuesday, there have been a total of 32,887 COVID-19 cases in the county, with 10,126 — almost one third — occurring in the last 30 days. In the last two weeks, there were 75 COVID-19 deaths in the county, for a total of 309 deaths to date.

The county’s hospital data shows that 189 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized and there are 410 acute care beds and 77 ICU beds in use.

San Mateo County has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 testing in the state, with a rate of over 1,100 tests done per 100,000 people compared to the state median testing rate of 447.67 per 100,000.

Visit San Mateo County’s COVID-19 vaccine information page at https://www.smchealth.org/covidvaccine. People can email questions about the COVID-19 vaccine to CovidVax@smcgov.org.

For Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow’s most recent statement regarding the COVID-19 surge and vaccine distribution, visit https://www.smchealth.org/health-officer-updates/january-19-2021-health-officer-statement.