race for a vaccine

Thousands of COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Added in Santa Clara County

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Santa Clara County officials announced late Sunday that the local supply of the COVID vaccine has increased and that, as a result, thousands of appointments have been added this week, including 10,000 more just for this weekend.

All people age 16 and older who live or work in the county are eligible and are encouraged to sign up for a vaccination appointment at sccfreevax.org, said Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

"This includes our community members who have already had COVID-19 and have recovered. The vaccines are our most critical and effective tools to protect you and your loved ones, especially with variants of the virus circulating in our community."

County officials said more than 57% of people age 16 and older living in Santa Clara County have received a first dose and more than 31% have been completely vaccinated.

UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford says we still have a ways to go for herd immunity. 

It may have just gotten easier to book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine in Santa Clara County. Public health officials say the county is expected to receive thousands of vaccine doses thus opening up more slots for residents to get vaccinated. Marianne Favro reports.

“Well over 50%. Most likely over 60-70% until we really are going to see the vaccine levels themselves stop transmission,” he said. 

But he says the vaccination progression – of nearly 1 million shots in Californian arms every three days – should get us there. 

“I think the governor’s estimates that we’re really going to be close to herd immunity, and that would include adolescents assuming the FDA authorizes the Pfizer vaccine down to 12 years or age, I think that’s not an unrealistic goal.”

In some other regions of the country, lines have vanished and vaccine hesitancy remains a problem. 

The president joined the chorus of voices making the case that vaccines are safe and effective. 

“What we say to anyone who has doubts about getting a vaccine,” said the chief medical adviser to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci. “We leave it up to you, look at the data, the data speak for themselves.”

Santa Clara County says it is continuing efforts to get vaccines to the hardest hit communities, even going door-to-door to register people. 

They’re also hosting on-site vaccine clinics for the homeless. 

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