SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Recent data obtained by the state shows that as of Monday, more than half of residents in Santa Clara County over the age of 75 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The data came from the California Department of Public Health, which showed that a total of 232,761 residents were partially or fully vaccinated as of Monday. County health officials say the numbers show “strong progress” towards the county’s goal of vaccinating at least 85% of residents age 16 or older by Aug. 1, 2021.READ MORE: Lake County Luxury Hotel, Housing Project Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Risk
“It is heartening to see that as a county, we have made such great progress in vaccinating our older residents who are at very high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “This historic effort is saving lives, but we must continue to accelerate our work to reach our entire community, with particular focus on the communities most impacted by COVID-19. In addition, we need sufficient vaccine supply from the state and federal government to achieve our goal of widespread community protection.”
Great news! 50% of Santa Clara County's 75 and over population has been vaccinated, which is tremendous progress towards our goal to vaccinate those at higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. #SCCUnitedAgainstCovid pic.twitter.com/FDIADYVYhd
— Healthy SCC (@HealthySCC) February 15, 2021
The county and other vaccine providers began vaccinating any county resident age 65 and older, regardless of their healthcare provider or insurance, back in early February.
Those 65 and older made up 81% of COVID-19 deaths and around 60% of hospitalizations, which is why they have been prioritized for the vaccine.
The next group of people prioritized and slated to get the vaccine starting March 15 are those ages 16-65 with at least one “severe health condition,” state health officials announced on Friday.
Those conditions include cancer, Down syndrome, pregnancy, stage four or higher kidney disease, pulmonary diseases necessitating oxygen, a weakened immune system due to an organ transplant, sickle cell disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart conditions like coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathies.READ MORE: Theft Leaves San Jose Couple Bereft: 'We’re Heartbroken, All Our Precious Things Are Gone'
State guidelines allow counties to follow in similar suit, but Santa Clara County could delay vaccinations for the March 15 group at its own discretion.
In the past, the county waited to vaccinate those 65 years and older, despite the state giving the green light, because of low vaccine supply.
Fenstersheib said vaccine supply still remains a problem.
“This historic effort is saving lives, but we must continue to accelerate our work to reach our entire community, with particular focus on the communities most impacted by COVID-19,” Fenstersheib said. “In addition, we need sufficient vaccine supply from the state and federal government to achieve our goal of widespread community protection.”
Currently, those eligible for COVID-19 vaccination includes all health care workers, those in long-term care facilities and those 65 years and older.
Residents can make an appointment by visiting the sccfreevax.org site or by calling 211 for assistance in multiple languages.
The county also launched two mobile clinics that do not require appointments located at the Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St., Gilroy, and the Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road, San Jose.
Vaccinations will be available on Wednesdays in Gilroy starting at 8 a.m. and Thursdays and Fridays in San Jose with on-site registration starting at 8:30 a.m.MORE NEWS: Indoor Restaurant Dining Resumes, Movie Theaters Reopen in SF and Santa Clara Counties
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