San Francisco Announces Plan to Expand Vaccine Eligibility to Workers in Education and Childcare, Emergency Services, and Food Sectors
Starting on February 24, San Francisco will move to Phase 1B, Tier 1 of the state’s population prioritization plan and begin vaccinating people who work in education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors, while continuing to vaccinate healthcare workers and people 65 an
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, in partnership with local healthcare providers, announced that starting February 24, COVID-19 vaccines will be offered to individuals identified as eligible in Phase 1B, Tier 1 of California’s population prioritization plan for vaccine administration. This includes people who work in the education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors.
This expansion into Phase 1B, Tier 1 is occurring as San Francisco, in partnership with healthcare providers, continues to expand its vaccine infrastructure but vaccine supply remains limited. Phase 1B, Tier 1 is comprised of more than 115,000 individuals who live or work in San Francisco, in addition to the approximately 210,000 healthcare workers and people 65 and older who are currently eligible.
“Getting people who live and work in San Francisco vaccinated as quickly as possible is our top priority. We’re moving full speed ahead with setting up our COVID-19 vaccination network in San Francisco and are ready to ramp up as we get more supply,” said Mayor Breed. “As we keep making progress vaccinating healthcare workers and people 65 and older, we’re looking ahead to the next phase and are making sure we’re ready to vaccinate workers quickly so they can safely be out in the city serving the community.”
Healthcare providers in San Francisco and the San Francisco Department of Public Health are currently vaccinating healthcare workers and people 65 and older. San Francisco will continue to prioritize those 65 years and over for vaccination, as they carry the highest risk of hospitalization and death of any population in the city.
The City has developed a webpage for people who live and work in San Francisco to find vaccination sites in San Francisco and book appointments. People who are eligible to be vaccinated can sign-up for an appointment at: SF.gov/getvaccinated.
The goal of the City’s vaccination strategy is to make receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as convenient and comfortable for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In partnership with the healthcare providers in San Francisco, which are receiving the majority of the vaccine doses from the state, the City is facilitating the quick and efficient delivery of vaccines through high-volume vaccine sites, neighborhood vaccine access sites, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams.
“Although vaccine supply remains extremely limited, we are making progress in vaccinating the most medically vulnerable people in our community – those over 65 years of age. As we expand vaccine eligibility to those in Phase 1B, Tier 1 we will offer protection to individuals who have supported and protected our City throughout the pandemic – workers in the education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Public Health. “We are building a robust and flexible system of vaccine distribution that can efficiently and equitably administer the vaccine as quickly as we receive it. Together with adherence to public health measures such as masking, hand washing, and social distancing, the vaccine can bring an end to this pandemic.”
The Moscone Center high-volume vaccination site opened last week by appointment only for anyone eligible to receive the vaccine, regardless of health coverage. Initially, the site will operate at a moderate capacity, but when supply increases, it can expand to 7,000 to 10,000 vaccinations per day. Hours of vaccination are limited but will ramp up to 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, when vaccine is more readily available. The site is part of a collaborative effort between the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Department of Public Health partnering with a consortium of statewide healthcare organizations: Kaiser Permanente, Adventist Health, the California Medical Association, CommonSpirit/Dignity, and Futuro Health as well as the California Primary Care Association.
In addition to the high-volume sites at the Moscone Center and City College of San Francisco, which opened on January 22, the City will add a third high-volume vaccination site at The SF Market in the Bayview. These high-volume sites were chosen in part for their proximity to neighborhoods in the southeastern part of the City that have been most heavily impacted by COVID. These sites will serve anyone, regardless of their health coverage status or provider.
“The workforce of the City and County of San Francisco has stepped up time and time again over the last year to provide critical and essential services to the residents of San Francisco throughout the pandemic including food distribution, community safety, testing and distribution of the vaccine,” said Carol Isen, Acting Human Resources Director. “As the City moves into Phase 1B of vaccination, these workers will be able to continue to provide these services with the protection of a safe and effective vaccine which will allow San Francisco faster to reopen faster.”
The distribution of a national vaccine during a pandemic is an unprecedented event, and the City of San Francisco is partnering with healthcare providers to have as many people vaccinated as fast as possible, while following the federal and state guidelines for prioritization. In the meantime, it is critical that all San Franciscans continue to follow all public health recommendations to wear a mask when not in your home, cough into your elbow, wash your hands, keep 6 feet from others whenever you must be in public places and help your local health department collect information to inform people of possible infection. These steps will help protect you and those around you while COVID-19 is circulating, and, along with the vaccine, will be essential to ending the pandemic.
Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco can sign up for a notification when they are eligible for vaccination at SF.gov/vaccinenotify. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine in San Francisco at: SF.gov/covidvaccine.