Note: 1/19/21: The vaccination effort is a rapidly changing operation. Click on this link for Contra Costa County’s progress. Vaccine Dashboard.
January 12, 2021 – COVID-19 vaccine is in short supply. It will take several months before they are widely available to the general public, according to Contra Costa Health Department. The government has set guidelines to make sure these people get the vaccine first: People at high risk because of their work and those at high risk of serious complications from a COVID-19 infection.
Contra Costa County’s healthcare system is gearing up to provide as many as 7,000 vaccines per day in an effort to vaccinate all eligible residents over the next six months. The county expects to triple the number of vaccines offered this week as capacity grows.
Vaccine distribution is occurring in phases (see chart on left): Phase 1A consists of three tiers, Phase 1B has two tiers, and Phase 1C. The general public falls in Phase 2, which is expected to start in the summer. Vaccines are currently being distributed to Tier 1, frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Contra Costa County.
Most people now eligible for vaccination will be contacted by their employers. If you believe your job makes you eligible for COVID-19 vaccination now, check with your employer. Patients at long-term care facilities will be contacted by their facilities.
”At some point, everyone who wants a COVID vaccine will be able to get one. While we aren’t there yet, making vaccine available to everyone is our top priority,” Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Director Anna Roth said.
As of now, all but 1,400 of the 43,675 doses allocated in Contra Costa have been assigned to people in Phases 1A and 1B priority groups. All the doses are expected to be given within the next 14 days,” Roth said.
As of Jan. 10, 30,245 doses have been administered in the county by various health providers, including Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and John Muir Health, as well as the federal long-term care partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Safeway and Rite-Aid are completing their registration process with the state. Safeway will begin offering shots at one location this week with additional sites coming on board in the next two weeks.
”We continue to redirect every resource available to getting shots in arms,” Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer and COVID Operations Chief Dr. Tzvieli said.
The County has opened several vaccination sites across Contra Costa at health centers and other large facilities to vaccinate eligible individuals. CCHS has also begun shifting staffing from COVID testing sites to vaccination efforts to increase capacity. ”We also have activated our volunteer Medical Reserve Corps to give vaccine, and the health department is working with fire agencies to use paramedics to administer vaccine.”
County health departments aren’t the only ones who are stepping up. Private health systems such as Kaiser, Sutter and John Muir Health and pharmacies are also coming online to provide vaccinations as more people become eligible. CVS and Walgreens are already vaccinating those living in long-term care facilities and their staff.
About 900,000 Contra Costa residents will be eligible for vaccine once the County reaches Phase 2 of the distribution plan. To reach community-immunity levels, 75% of those eligible (725,000 people) would need to be vaccinated in the county. In order to immunize 725,000 people over the next six months, roughly 7,000 people will need to be vaccinated every business day on average. That will require a significant boost in vaccinations from current levels. During the first few weeks since a vaccine became available in mid-December, 30,245 shots have been given – about 1,200 a day.
Both vaccines require two doses over a four-week period.
Visit https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/vaccine often for updates.