race for a vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Disparity on Display in the Bay Area

NBC Universal, Inc.

Even though COVID-19 vaccine appointments appear to be easier to get in some places, others are still struggling to meet daily demand.

The situation in Santa Clara County is much different than in other areas, including San Mateo County.

The lines of people seeking vaccine shots were sometimes long but always moving briskly Thursday at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

Just a week ago, public health officials were trying to figure out how to meet demand, but that ended as hundreds of thousands of doses from the federal government started to arrive, thanks to a federal program the county applied for some six weeks ago.

Those doses were in addition to more than 78,000 shots from the state this week and about 60,000 expected next week.

Now, the county is setting vaccination records, hitting 24,000 shots in a day.

"Now, there is ample selection of locations, days, times that should work for many people who might have been waiting until some of the frenzy decreased," Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate public health director, said.

The situation is quite different in San Mateo County, which has not been getting federal supplies – only about 6,000 to 7,000 doses from the state.

"We need accountability here in San Mateo County," Brent Turner with Citizens COVID Response Unit said. "We need to strengthen our relationship with the feds."

San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said he’s meeting with Gov. Gavin Newsom soon to try to make the county a bigger priority.

He pointed out the county has not even had enough supply to open a mass vaccination site for the past two weeks.

"Trying to find a vaccine is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and the haystack just keeps getting bigger and bigger," he said.

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