As vaccine eligibility expands to California residents 50 and older starting Thursday, San Mateo County officials said they continue to await additional vaccine supply from the state.
The state then plans to expand eligibility to all residents 16 and older on April 15.
During a media briefing Wednesday, San Mateo County officials said that unless supply increases, those groups may not be able to receive the vaccine right away in the county. The county received 20,930 vaccine doses this week, a little more than the 20,800 doses received last week.
“The eligibility expansion has not been timed with changes in supply,” Deputy Chief of San Mateo County Health Srija Srinivasan said. “Everyone in California who is 16 and older will become eligible come April 15 but it’s always as supply allows.”
Srinivasan said the county is hopeful they will receive extra vaccine doses.
In the last week, the county held vaccine clinics in communities such as East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Daly City and along the coast. Health providers and pharmacies are also providing the vaccine to eligible populations.
If the supply increases, the county plans to ramp up mass vaccination sites once more and County Manager Mike Callagy said they plan to hold at least one mass vaccination site at the San Mateo County Event Center next week.
As of Monday, 278,878 San Mateo County residents have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 90 percent of residents 75 and older.
Callagy said all adult and eligible youth inmates at county jails have been offered the vaccine and over 300 residents and staff at homeless shelters have been vaccinated. The county continues to reach out to unsheltered residents.
San Mateo County is also expected to receive an additional $750,000 in funding from the state to expand vaccine access to vulnerable communities. This is part of a $7.6 million allocation from the state to Bay Area counties.
While Callagy said the allocation does not adequately address vaccine disparities, he said it would help with the cost of operations and outreach.
“The doses are more important than money right now,” Callagy said. “If we had more doses, we’d find a way, money or not, to get it done.”
Callagy said he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state.
This agreement means that the county will stay directly involved in vaccine rollout, Callagy said. It also gives the county time to transition its vaccine scheduling to the state’s MyTurn system.
“We do believe as a county that we know best where to get these vaccines and how to distribute them in a meaningful way, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable neighborhoods.” Callagy said. “This MOU allows us the flexibility to continue to do that.”
The county will continue to work with Blue Shield of California, the state’s third-party vaccine administrator.
Vaccine clinics will take place on Thursday through Saturday in Daly City, East Palo Alto, South San Francisco, San Mateo and Redwood City.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccination in San Mateo County, visit https://www.smchealth.org/covidvaccine.