Santa Clara County announced Tuesday it is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, effective immediately.
All individuals 16 and older who live or work in the county are now eligible to get vaccinated, Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county's COVID-19 testing and vaccine officer, said. People can schedule vaccination appointments via sccfreevax.org.
The county is receiving a "significant" increase in vaccine supply from the federal government, on top of the allotment from the state, Fenstersheib said.
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"We now have enough vaccine really to quickly reach our goal of protecting our entire community against COVID-19," Fenstersheib said.
After pressure from the Bay Area congressional delegation, the federal government shipped Santa Clara County almost 300,000 doses. That's on top of the roughly 70,000 doses the county gets weekly from the state.
Thanks to the increased vaccine supply, the county didn't have to cancel any appointments as a result of the unexpected Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause.
"We have seen that our demand has outweighed our capacity for a long time, so now we're going to be able to meet that need, that demand," Fenstersheib said.
In San Mateo County, the Johnson & Johnson news was a blow. The county was already low on vaccine supply this week.
"We don’t have first doses this week," Supervisor David Canepa said. "We have second doses for two days."
The county will pause all use of the J&J vaccine until it gets the all-clear from the FDA.
"It’s a little bit of a nightmare to be quite honest with you," Canepa said. "We've had, essentially, this tremendous amount of hope."
The pause will also mean when San Mateo County opens up eligibility to everyone 16 and older on Thursday, the only real change will be more people fighting for fewer appointments.