A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)

SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

San Francisco is opening large sites where people can receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes more readily available with the goal of having the ability to vaccinate 10,000 per day, officials announced Friday.

The sites will include the Moscone Center in South of Market, City College of San Francisco’s main campus and the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market. The City College site is expected to open by the end of next week. It’s unclear when the other sites will open.

The City is launching the sites in collaboration with health care providers including Kaiser Permanente, UC San Francisco, Dignity Health and Sutter Health, which administer doses to those with insurance.

The Department of Public Health administers doses to health care workers in its hospitals and clinics as well as the uninsured.

“We have a plan to work with our private health care providers to create a network of vaccination sites in San Francisco, including three large sites that will allow us to quickly vaccinate people once we have the supply to do so,” Mayor London Breed said. “My focus has been on setting up The City to be ready when we do get vaccines.”

It’s unclear at this point if The City would also open up a stadium site as other cities have.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Giants told the San Francisco Examiner earlier this week that they are “in conversations with health care providers and the state and our intent is to make the ballpark facilities available in whatever way is needed.”

Breed said the locations are not the problem — the supply is. Vaccination distribution is being led by the state, which has faced criticism for a slow rollout.

“We are ready for more doses,” Breed said. “We need more doses. We are asking for more doses.”

California has received 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and administered 1.07 million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said more recent data shows 1.188 million doses have been administered in California.

Newsom met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday for the lauch of a mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium, which has a goal of vaccinating 12,000 per day.

Both said they were looking forward to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, which they said would improve communication with the federal government and speed up rollout of the vaccine.

The comments followed reports that a promised stockpile of the vaccine by the Trump Administration did not exist.

“When we know when doses are arriving, it helps us with our planning purposes, it allows quicker and more efficient throughput,” Newsom said.

“The central issue is we simply aren’t receiving enough vaccines at the national level,” Garcetti said. “I spoke with president-elect Biden yesterday, with his COVID team as well, and I know that they are going to do everything they can to work with manufacturers to ramp that up.”

Biden’s inauguration is Jan. 20.

Newsom vowed to work to speed up administration of existing doses.

“Our resolve is to get all of the existing doses that are in this state administered as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Newsom said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has received 33,975 doses as of Friday, of which 13,566 were administered. The doses are administered to people based on the priority per state guidelines. Health care workers were among the first to receive the vaccine.

City officials said that the unpredictable nature of the delivery of the doses has caused logistical issues, having been receiving 3,500 doses weekly and then about 12,000 last week.

The number of doses on hand yet administered is attributable to making sure there is a supply for people to get the required second dose, institutions in the process of scaling up their operations and doses recently delivered to facilities, city officials said.

DPH receives the doses for administration at its hospitals, community clinics and other health entities not receiving them directly from the state like Chinese Hospital.

But they anticipate using all the available doses by early next week and are requesting many more doses from the state.

The City is also working on creating an online dashboard to report the vaccine data publicly.

It’s not clear how many people private health care providers have vaccinated in San Francisco. They receive their doses directly from the state and do not report their data to DPH.

To better inform people when they might be eligible to get the vaccine under the state’s guidelines, The City will launch on Tuesday a website, www.sf.gov/vaccinenotify.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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