President Joe Biden spent his first day on the job detailing his COVID-19 action plan, signing executive orders on everything from vaccines to reopening schools and the plan is welcome news for Bay Area health departments finding the vaccine in short supply.
San Francisco will open its first mass vaccination site at City College Friday. The drive thru is by appointment only and fully booked, but city leaders say there will soon be three locations ready to go.
“We don't have freezers on site but we have to time everything, we make sure we have the vaccine thawed by the first appointment,” said Dr. Andrea Tenner of the city’s department of public health, who added 500 people made appointments through UCSF and Dignity Health.
“We want to test operation and make sure we have these sites in place and can be scaled up, but because vaccines are in short supply we can't open up,” said Tenner.
At the White House Thursday, President Biden laid out his pandemic battle plan, signing 10 executive orders to ramp up vaccinations, expand testing, and reopening schools and businesses.
“Our plan starts with a safe, effective vaccine program to meet the goal of 100 million vaccines in 100 days,” Biden said.
UCSF Infectious Disease Doctor Monica Gandhi is optimistic the new focus will boost supply, and says getting the vaccination sites set up now will help speed up the process later.
“I think it's realistic to get 100 million vaccines in arms in 100 days if all the mass vaccination sites are ready then as soon as vaccine supply comes, volunteers are ready, health care workers are ready, it can happen fast,” she said.
The other two sites won’t open until more vaccines arrive. When everything is in place, San Francisco is hoping to vaccinate 10,000 people a day.
Meanwhile, a mass vaccination site in Mountain View also was set to open Friday, and in Alameda County officials said they are looking at a mid-February launch for mass vaccination sites, with the Oakland Coliseum as one of the likely locations.