SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Health officials in Santa Clara County celebrated Friday as the Bay Area’s most populous county reached the 1 million mark in COVID-19 vaccinations.
As of Friday, 62% of county residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than half a million Santa Clara County residents, about 1/3rd of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.READ MORE: Apple Holds Edge In App Store Trial Despite Nagging Issues
Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s health officer who implemented some of the earliest COVID-19 restrictions, said the achievement of reaching 1 million vaccinations was “phenomenal.”
“This is a really big deal, especially because the vaccine hasn’t been available in our community for that long, and remember it started in mid-December but with just a trickle. And it’s just recently that we’ve had plenty doses to go around,” Cody said.
The recent influx in supply is a far cry from a few weeks ago, when the county canceled first dose appointments due to a lack of available vaccines.
“After so many long and difficult months, we can now see a very clear path out of this pandemic,” Cody went on to say.
Board of Supervisors President Mike Wasserman thanked first responders and partners who have worked countless hours working on the vaccination effort along with those who have received their shots so far.READ MORE: Pac-12 Picks MGM Executive George Kilavkoff As Next Commissioner
“Creating an infrastructure practically overnight to vaccinate this many people was a herculean task, but we did it. Through a vast network of partnerships, like the one with the 49ers, we have achieved a significant milestone,” Wasserman said, noting the massive vaccination site at Levi’s Stadium.
Along with the Levi’s Stadium site, which can provide 12,000 shots per day, the county has offered vaccines in numerous venues. Sites have been opened in hard hit East San Jose and Gilroy. The county has also launched mobile clinics and sites targeting teachers and farmworkers during the vaccination effort. County officials even partnered with a local roller rink at Eastridge Mall to offer vaccines there.
Outreach has also included teams going door-to-door to help holdouts and the hesitant in the hardest hit communities to sign up for appointments.
Officials said while the milestone of 1 million shots should be encouraging, preventative measures such as wearing masks and distancing should be followed to prevent the spread of variants before herd immunity is achieved.
Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county’s testing officer, urged residents who have not signed up for a vaccine appointment to do so. “While reaching 1 million vaccinations is a great milestone for our community, we must continue to work toward getting the rest of those eligible vaccinated as quickly as we can. We can do this!” he said.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Corruption Scandal: City Reaches $1.7M Settlement With Permit Expediter Walter Wong
County residents can sign for their appointments and find more information about the vaccine by visiting http://sccfreevax.org.