Can't get to a vaccination site? San Francisco will bring the COVID-19 vaccine to residents' homes, workplaces and private events through a new program called "Vax to You", announced Mayor London Breed and health officials on Tuesday.
The mobile vaccine unit has been in operation since February, administering 6,000 doses to vulnerable populations who might have challenges getting to sites, like seniors in care facilities and those experiencing homelessness.
Now, anyone in groups of five to 12 can receive Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer vaccines anywhere, free of cost and per appointment.
The program comes as the city pushes to increase vaccination rates as it sees an increase in COVID-19 cases, said Breed. Eighty-four percent of San Franciscans have at least their first dose, but there's still a gap to fill in Black and Latino communities - only 64 percent of the Black population and 74 percent of Latinos received their first shot.
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"We need to make sure that those communities are getting the vaccine because what we're seeing with almost 100 people now in the hospital, that most of those folks are African American and Latino," Breed said in a news conference at Sheba Piano Lounge.
Breed said that we're in the "ninth inning" in the pandemic, and the recent surge amid the Delta variant means hunkering down on vaccinations and mask-wearing a little longer.
"Just because we are tired of COVID-19, just because we are tired of all the rules and regulations and being told what to do, just because we are sick of it, doesn't mean it's sick of us," Breed said. "It's not gone because we want it to be gone. So what this means is we have to do even more."
Though there have been recent cases in vaccinated populations, city health director Dr. Grant Colfax says it's not a good time to be unvaccinated. Receiving the vaccine might be the difference between life and death, he said.
"It can be the difference between spending a few days in your bed at home versus spending a few weeks in the ICU," Colfax said. "So, very important that people get vaccinated."
Residents can set up appointments Tuesday through Saturday by visiting sf.gov/vaxtoyou.