race for a vaccine

Current COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Not Enough to Vaccinate All Seniors Immediately

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that anyone 65 years of age and older qualified to get a COVID-19 vaccine immediately. But actually vaccinating those now eligible isn't necessarily happening right away.

Vaccine providers say they're simply not ready for a rush of new people looking to get vaccinated.

At the Cypress Senior Center in San Jose, the announcement that those 65 and older were now eligible for vaccinations triggered a lot of excitement, but as many seniors have been finding out, being eligible doesn’t mean there are enough shots to go around.

Kuiwon Song, 66, said when she tried to make a vaccination appointment all the websites crashed.

"They sent me all these different links and I went on and every website is crashed and you can’t do it," she said. "So, then I was calling my Stanford Health Care and then they said, 'Oh, I’m going to send you this message.' So, I opened it yesterday and it said, 'Wait until we contact you.'"

Getting an appointment for her 90-year-old mom wasn't any easier.

"We actually contacted her [primary care physician] and they’re waiting to get a load of vaccine so they can vaccinate people, their patients," Song said.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said that’s the problem, pointing out it doesn’t have enough doses to cover the 140,000 frontline health workers, much less another 300,000 people 65 and older.

There are 6 million people in California over the age of 65 and many of them are scrambling for an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But the problem is, many medical providers aren’t offering it. Jean Elle reports.

Sarah Sherwood, who represents Good Samaritan Hospital and Regional Medical Center, said they want to vaccinate as many people as possible and are bracing for the rush.

"It’s just day after day of very long hours so that we can obey those orders that the governor has given," she said.

For just about every agency involved, the key to meeting the demand is getting more vaccine supply. At this point, the county said it isn’t sure when or how much is coming.

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