City leaders announced Friday that San Francisco will expand eligibility requirements to begin vaccinating people with disabilities, those with underlying medical conditions and people who live and work in congregate settings as soon as next week, per state guidelines.
Starting on Monday, people with disabilities between the age of 16 and 64 or those who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to an underlying health condition will be eligible.
People with disabilities include people who are deaf or have developmental, medical, physical, sensory or behavioral health disabilities, including mental health or substance abuse disorders.
Underlying health conditions include cancer, diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, chronic pulmonary disease, HIV, Down syndrome, sickle cell disease and pregnancy.
In addition to people with disabilities and underlying health conditions, also starting on Monday, people who live and work in congregate care facilities like homeless shelters, correctional facilities and behavioral health facilities will also be eligible for the vaccine.
"Getting vaccinations to people with disabilities and who have severe underlying conditions, and people who are in congregate settings, is an important part of our efforts to save lives and protect our most vulnerable residents," Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
The expanded eligibility requirements are an important step in protecting residents at higher risk from the virus, said San Francisco Department of Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said. "Many of those with underlying health conditions and disabilities or who are in congregate living settings have had to endure greater isolation this past year for fear of becoming gravely ill from COVID-19 and vaccinating this population is a critical step in protecting our city."
The expansion of eligibility for the vaccine comes as state officials have widened the requirements to include those most at risk. As of now, only the elderly, health care workers, educators, child care workers, emergency service workers and those who work in food and agriculture were eligible for the vaccine.
Despite high demand for the vaccine, city officials said it remains in short supply and thus those eligible for the vaccine may not be able to get an appointment right away.
So far, however, more than a quarter of San Franciscans have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, exceeding state and federal vaccination levels, city officials said.
More information about getting the vaccine, including making appointments, can be made at www.sf.gov/getvaccinated.