Contra Costa County officials announced their goal Friday to distribute 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses by the Fourth of July. More than 65,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the county since Dec. 15, according to county Supervisor Diane Burgis.
On average, 5,800 doses are being administered per day. However, the county is only receiving around 12,000 doses per week that are quickly distributed to county-run vaccination sites as well as county partners like pharmacies at Safeway and Rite Aid stores.
"We really need everyone, that includes the state and federal government, to do their part," county Health Officer and Contra Costa Health Services director Anna Roth said Friday during a briefing to announce the distribution goal.
"We have no more than a five-day supply on hand at any given time," she added. "We are moving the vaccine as quickly as we get it." The 1 million doses will not equate exactly to 1 million of the county's residents vaccinated, Roth said, since the two available vaccines on the market - those developed by Pfizer and Moderna - require two shots to take full effect.
A vaccine in development by the medical and pharmaceutical corporation Johnson and Johnson would only require one dose instead of two, but that vaccine may not be available until the spring.
As a result, county officials are targeting the full vaccination of 750,000 residents by the Fourth of July in tandem with the 1 million doses distributed.
"There's always some people on their second dose and some people on their first dose … what we're really trying to do by setting this goal is set a single horizon for all of us to work toward," Roth said.
County officials have yet to set up a mass-vaccination site such as those in San Francisco and Los Angeles counties, taking the approach of operating smaller vaccine clinics that are spread across the county's entire footprint.
Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the county's deputy health officer and COVID-19 operations chief, said Contra Costa County would need between 5,000 and 10,000 doses of vaccine on top of the 12,000 it is currently receiving weekly to operate a mass-vaccination site.
However, county officials are interested in doing so once those doses are available, he said.
"It's hard to ramp up production quickly, I think people do need to be patient," Tzvieli said. "But I think that by springtime, we'll see a lot more vaccine coming our way, and as soon as it comes through we'll get it into arms."
Information on the phases of Contra Costa County's vaccine distribution and how to make a vaccination appointment can be found at https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/vaccine.