SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) – Health officials in San Mateo County announced plans to expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to certain essential workers later this month.
Educators, childcare workers and first responders, along with food and agricultural workers would be able to get their shots starting on February 22 as supply allows, officials said in a statement Thursday.READ MORE: Bay Area Health Expert Hails Potential of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in Pandemic Battle
“We need to swiftly vaccinate as many people as we possibly can and this includes essential workers,” said David Canepa, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “We need to focus on ending COVID 24/7 so that we can stimulate the economy and start to return to normal.”
In the meantime, the county said it would continue to focus on vaccinating healthcare workers and residents 65 and older, who represent 84% of the county’s 447 deaths from COVID-19.
The announcement from San Mateo County officials comes as health officials in neighboring San Francisco said they would expand eligibility to the same group of essential workers sometime within the next two weeks.READ MORE: High School Girl Sues San Mateo County, State of California to Allow Indoor Youth Sports
San Mateo County officials said as of early this week, 84,783 people have received their first doses, which amounts to a third of the county’s seniors age 65 and older. Nearly 20,000 people have received both shots.
As the county expands eligibility for the vaccine, officials stressed that supply constraints continue.
“While we are doing everything possible to ensure everyone who is eligible for the vaccine receives one, we are facing serious supply limitations that complicate our efforts. We ask for patience and understanding in these very trying times,” said Supervisor Dave Pine.MORE NEWS: Longtime San Francisco Merchants Lament Recent Spike in Burglaries
Residents can receive vaccine eligibility alerts through the county’s notification tool.