SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Santa Clara County health officials have given out fewer than 50,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the first shipments arrived nearly a month ago.
At the current pace, it would be mid-September 2023 before the county’s nearly two-million residents would receive a vaccine. Public health officials had hoped a rapid distribution of the vaccine would begin to slow the spread the virus that’s raging across the Bay Area.
“All of the vaccine is not in the arm’s of everyone. But they’re all working very hard,” says Dr. Marty Fenstersheib with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
Santa Clara County has on average, administered just under 2000 doses of the vaccine a day since the initial shipments were first received on December 15.
Dr. Sara Cody says upwards of 85 percent of the county’s population would need to be vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity.
“We’re gotten as far as we have in a relatively short period of time,” says. Dr. Cody.
In the initial rollout of the vaccine, the county has relied heavily on hospitals and healthcare systems with highly specialized refrigeration systems necessary for storage. The long-term plan is to open additional vaccination sites to increase capacity and the speed with which the vaccines are reaching with public.
“With our patients, we want to make sure they feel safe and comfortable. So, having the shot and being able to provide that comfort is a good first step,” says Amy Luna, an employee at Willow Glen Family Dentistry.
The county estimates there 140,000 healthcare workers and patients in senior care facilities who form the first wave of vaccination.
The county has received nearly 123,000 doses of the vaccine so far. They will need more than twice that amount to insure that everyone in the first phase of the rollout receives their prescribed first and second dose of the vaccine.