Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that The City received only a fraction of the COVID vaccine doses it requested this week. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that The City received only a fraction of the COVID vaccine doses it requested this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Unpredictable supplies leave SF running low on COVID vaccine

Reported reactions to Moderna shots prompt hold on 8,000 doses

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health has paused the administration of 8,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after allergic reactions were reported in San Diego.

Meanwhile, The City’s overall supply could run out by Thursday.

Just 28,501 San Francisco residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, either from their health care providers or from the department, Mayor London Breed said during a Tuesday press conference.

Breed said vaccination efforts continue to “face challenges with the lack of supply.”

She warned: “Unless we get more vaccines, the Department of Public Health will run out of our existing supply by this Thursday.”

Her comments refer directly to the supply the department receives from the state and not the supply health care providers like Kaiser and University of California, San Francisco receive. The state coordinates distribution of the vaccine from the federal government.

Exacerbating The City’s supply challenges is the need to hold off using 8,000 Moderna doses, after fewer than 10 people experienced possible severe allergic reactions to the vaccine at San Diego’s Petco Park over the weekend. The state, which is investigating the cases, ordered any health care provider who received the vaccines from this specific shipment of 330,000 doses to hold off on administering them.

Dr. Grant Colfax, head of the Department of Public Health, said that as of Tuesday, The City had not received any replacement doses.

“This will have an impact on The City’s ability to complete already scheduled vaccinations,” he said.

However, Colfax emphasized that the vaccines “are our ticket out of this pandemic and they are very safe.”

The unpredictability of vaccine distribution remains a challenge. Last week, the department received 12,000 doses.

“This week, along with health care providers across The City, we received a fraction of the doses we requested from the state,” Colfax said. “DPH’s allocation from the state arriving this week is only 1,775 doses.”

The Department of Public Health has received a total of 31,665 vaccine doses as of Tuesday, Breed said. The department has administered 15,545, which went to 12,920 people who received their first shot in the arm and 2,625 who received the required second dose. The remainder, city officials said, are scheduled for administration.

Currently, health care providers are not reporting their vaccine data to San Francisco, so the specifics are limited. However, Breed was able to report that 28,501 of San Francisco residents were vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Monday, of which 6,347 have received their second dose.

Breed said those vaccinated were largely health care workers, per the state guidelines.

She also said that both the department and health care providers in San Francisco, like Kaiser, Sutter, Dignity and UCSF, have received a total 102,825 doses of the vaccine since it began being distributed.

Per the state guidelines, around 210,000 people are prioritized in San Francisco to get the vaccine in the first round. They comprise about 90,000 health care workers, 11,000 in-home care workers and 110,000 people over the age of 65.

The City started Tuesday to report vaccine data to the public, adding it to other COVID-19 data such as new cases and deaths.

The Department of Public Health planned to issue a health order Tuesday to require health care providers to report to The City their vaccination data.

Breed also announced last week the planned launch of three large vaccination sites, with the first of the sites opening later this week at City College of San Francisco’s main campus.

“The vaccine is in limited supply,” Breed said. “While we still don’t have the vaccine supply to meet the needs of these sites yet, we are getting ready for when we do.”

She said “our goal is to be ready to quickly move” to vaccinate more people when supply increases and eligibility expands.

Meanwhile, city officials said COVID-19 data suggests the current surge is slackening. San Francisco remains under the state’s stay-at-home order along with the rest of the Bay Area, which was imposed as the state was experiencing its worst surge since the pandemic began.

The City is now seeing an average of 333 newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 per day, but the growth rate is declining.

“The post-holiday rise in hospitalization appears to be slowing,” Colfax said.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCoronavirussan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The Port of San Francisco, which controls much of the The City’s waterfront, faces potential layoffs due to a financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Steven Ho/Special to S.F. Examiner)
In a financial ‘crisis,’ SF Port officials lobby for stimulus funding

Looking to right their financial ship, Port of San Francisco officials are… Continue reading

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and members of the orchestra were thrilled to be back inside Davies Symphony Hall on May 6 in a program for first responders featuring string works by Jean Sibelius, George Walker, Carl Nielsen, Caroline Shaw and Edward Grieg. (Courtesy Stefan Cohen/San Francisco Symphony)
SF Symphony makes joyful return to Davies Hall

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts program for first responders and community leaders

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Most Read