People 12 and Older are Now Eligible to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine in San Francisco
San Francisco to continue equity strategy to ensure residents of hardest-hit neighborhoods receive equitable access to vaccine
San Francisco, CA — Starting today, May 13, in accordance with state and federal guidance, individuals age 12 and over in San Francisco are now eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine approved for this age group, is very effective in teenagers with studies showing that it prevents up to 100% of COVID-19 infections and produces protective antibodies.
“This expanded eligibility is important progress in our fight against COVID-19, one that is especially encouraging as we look to fully open all of our schools for full-time, in-person learning” said Mayor London Breed. “By creating a network of vaccination sites in our city, we’ve focused on making the vaccines easy to access by meeting people where they are. We will continue that effort with strategies specifically targeting our youth and their families. As we bring this focus to younger people, we encourage everyone to take this opportunity to make sure all eligible family members are getting vaccinated. When our families are healthy and strong, our city is too.”
On April 13, San Francisco expanded eligibility to people 16 and older. More than 75% of people who are eligible in San Francisco have received at least one dose of the vaccine and the City is currently vaccinating roughly 8,500 residents per day. On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for people between the ages of 12 and 15. Following the additional review by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which concluded on May 12, the City will begin administering the vaccine to this age group on Thursday, May 13. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for individuals younger than 18.
There are approximately 25,000 children ages 12 to15 in San Francisco. The City has developed a robust distribution infrastructure that includes high-volume vaccination sites, neighborhood sites, community clinics, pharmacies, and mobile vaccination teams to make receiving the vaccine as convenient, comfortable and low-barrier for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the pandemic. With this eligibility expansion, SFDPH/COVID Command is collaborating with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to bring vaccines to select school sites located in communities that have been hard hit by COVID-19. Those newly eligible and their families should visit SF.gov/getvaccinated to learn about options for receiving the vaccine and to find links to schedule appointments at different vaccination sites administering the Pfizer vaccine.
“The fact that we are at a point in this pandemic where we can offer vaccines to youth ages 12 to 15 is a truly remarkable sign of progress,” says Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the Department of Public Health. “The more people we vaccinate, the more we can get back to the things we love without the fear of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to a friend or loved one. As we have done with each eligibility expansion, we will continue to work alongside our partners to ensure equitable access to vaccines for communities that have been most impacted by COVID-19. I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that we can all look forward to a great summer.”
Generally, parent or legal guardian consent is required for COVID-19 vaccinations of minors, unless they meet the criteria for emancipation or self-sufficiency as defined by the state. In anticipation of the FDA emergency use authorization to administer Pfizer to the newly eligible group, SFDPH issued a new emergency health order, C19-19, that enables minors 12 and older to consent to receive FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The healthcare provider administering the vaccine must reasonably attempt to notify a person with legal authority to consent to medical care for that minor, such as a parent or guardian, and allow that person the opportunity to object administration of that dose.
“People who are hesitant to receive a vaccine are more likely to get one if someone they know and trust encourages them to do so. This is especially true for teens who may be wary of taking advice from grownups,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. “Help us end this pandemic by getting a vaccine and encouraging your friends, classmates and family to receive one. We must all work together so we can get back to enjoying our lives together.”
In addition to the new health order, SFDPH and the COVID Command Center have been making operational plans to accommodate new demand for vaccines and conferred with school, faith, and community leaders on strategies to promote vaccine access. This effort included planning sessions with officials at SFDPH’s Population Health Division, San Francisco Health Network, SFUSD, as well as the City’s Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF).
The vaccination strategy for people ages 12-15 includes administering the Pfizer vaccine throughout San Francisco’s various vaccination sites, including the high-volume sites as well as select neighborhood sites that are equipped to administer the Pfizer vaccine. It also calls for establishing family vaccination events, access to informational materials and to doctors at certain sites to answer questions about the vaccine as well as direct referrals through trusted community partners and the City’s Community Hubs.
“Through the pandemic, our Community Hubs operated by city and community-based partners have provided essential in-person supports to our youth and families beyond distance learning and out of school time activities,” said DCYF Director Maria Su. “Our Hubs will not only continue to be beacons of hope and support, they will amplify efforts to provide referrals, information and direct families to our City’s vaccination resources including standing up family vaccination sites.”
“We are eager to support our students in accessing vaccines at SFUSD sites in addition to many other locations across the City. I want to thank the SFUSD staff and our community partners who have made this possible,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “Vaccinations are one of the most effective preventative measures in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. I encourage all students who are able to get the vaccine to do so as soon as possible. It will be an excused absence!”
On Wednesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. San Francisco’s Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip; Dr. Lillian Brown, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSF - HIV, Infectious Diseases; and Global Medicine and Dr. Lee Atkinson-McEvoy – UCSF Division Chair of Pediatrics hosted a COVID-19 Pediatric Town Hall to addressed questions from the public. The meeting is archived on SFGovTV’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/y7_0B3sUSN8. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine at SF.gov/covidvaccine.
San Francisco’s commitment to an equitable vaccination strategy has focused on reaching communities that have been hard-hit by the pandemic, including the Latino community and neighborhoods in the southeast of the City. A higher proportion of SFDPH-administered vaccinations have gone to people of color than the total citywide vaccinations. The vaccine dashboard also shows that the top three neighborhoods receiving the largest amount of DPH-controlled vaccines are the Bayview, Mission, and Excelsior.
Vaccine Appointment Information
When possible, the City recommends scheduling an appointment to guarantee a spot. Visit sf.gov/getvaccinated to locate a site that is administering the Pfizer vaccine.
Drop-in sites with the Pfizer vaccine serving residents living in the following priority zip codes: Bayview (94124), Visitacion Valley (94134), Excelsior/Outer Mission (94112), Mission/Bernal (94110), Potrero/Dogpatch (94107), Tenderloin (94102), SOMA/Civic Center (94103), Western Addition (94115) and Treasure Island (94130):
- Bayview: Southeast Health Center, 2401 Keith St., 7 days a week, 9am - 4pm; For residents in all priority zip codes
- Mission: 24th and Capp, Sunday-Wednesday, 9am - 4pm; Priority given to Mission residents
- Mission: 18th and Shotwell, 3271 18th St., Thursday-Saturday, 11am - 6pm; Priority given to Mission residents
- Mission/Potrero: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Ave., Monday-Saturday, 8am - 4pm; For residents in all priority zip codes
- Starting May 15 - Sunnydale: 2055 Sunnydale, Saturday, 9:30am - 3pm; Live, work or receive services in 94112, 94124, 94134
- Starting May 18 – Tenderloin: Larkin Street Youth Service, 134 Golden Gate Ave., Tuesday 9:30-3:30pm; Live, work or receive services in 94102, 94103
- Starting May 19 – OMI: 50 Broad St., Wednesday and Friday 9am – 6 pm, and Saturday 9am – 3pm; Live, work or receive services in 94112, 94127 and 94132
Drop-in hours at sites serving all eligible residents. If individuals wish to make an appointment instead, visit the website listed above.
- City College UCSF, 55 Frida Kahlo Way. Drive-thru drop-ins today, 5/13
- SF Market, 901 Rankin Street, Monday-Friday, 9am – 4pm
- University of San Francisco (Operated by Kaiser Permanente), 2975 Turk Blvd, Monday-Friday, 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm
Muni and Paratransit are free for anyone traveling to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is also providing additional access to taxi service for those using the Essential Trip Card. Information can be found at sfmta.com/COVID and sfmta.com/paratransit.
Individuals who are 65 and older, with disabilities and who are unable to easily access the internet or schedule an appointment through their provider, may call (628) 652-2700 to learn about vaccine options and receive assistance in booking an appointment to some locations.