Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins sent a letter this past weekend on the board’s behalf to two high-ranking state officials calling for the county to receive more COVID-19 vaccine doses in its weekly allocations.
Writing to Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly and Government Operations Agency Secretary Yolanda Richardson, Hopkins argued that the county’s vaccine dose allocation has remained stagnant at 15,000 doses per week since February.
Hopkins said the county has increased its weekly vaccination capacity to 40,000 since then, but has not seen its allocation of doses increase in kind. On the contrary, the county’s weekly allocation is expected to drop to 12,890 doses this week, she said.
“Significant resources have been directed to expanding our capacity to equitably distribute vaccines,” Hopkins said in the letter, which she sent Saturday. “It is disappointing that this effort has been met with a decreasing supply of vaccines for our community.”
Hopkins argued that Sonoma County has processed and administered its allocated vaccines efficiently, with 268,824 doses administered in a county of nearly 500,000.
Hopkins also noted that the county has only received one allocation of 1,700 doses of the one-shot vaccine developed by Janssen, the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
The Janssen vaccine, she said, is particularly effective for vaccinating populations like unhoused residents that may have difficulty with the two-dose schedule of the vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sonoma County quickly mobilized to lead local pandemic response, testing and equitable vaccination efforts in partnership with the state,” Hopkins said. “We urge you to increase our vaccine allocation so that we can continue to support our community in an equitable and transparent way.”