County of Santa Clara Awaits More Supply as State Expands Vaccine Eligibility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2021

Despite ongoing supply challenges, County and partners continue building robust network for rapid vaccine distribution with major focus on equity and communities at greatest risk

Santa Clara County, CA  The County of Santa Clara is still waiting for adequate vaccine supply from the State to utilize its vaccination capacity, despite Thursday’s announcement that vaccine eligibility would expand to Californians age 50 and over on April 1 and then include individuals age 16 and over on April 15.

“We are excited to expand eligibility. That is why we have been scaling up capacity so rapidly – so that we can quickly vaccinate as many eligible people who live and work here as possible,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “Currently, our challenge is not one of capacity or eligibility, but supply.”

The County and other vaccine providers throughout Santa Clara County have built an extensive network that can deliver 200,000 vaccinations per week once doses become readily available. This includes one site that can vaccinate up to 15,000 people per day, multiple locations with capacity to serve thousands per day, and pop-up sites focused on communities and workers most at risk from COVID-19. From testing to vaccinations, the County has worked with community partners to ensure the most disproportionately affected communities are not left behind and these efforts will continue as eligibility expands.

Efforts to vaccinate people as quickly as possible are even more important as the prevalence of COVID-19 variants continue to increase in our area. County health officials learned this week that one case of the P.1 variant, which was first identified in Brazil, has been confirmed in a Santa Clara County resident through a specimen randomly selected for genomic sequencing. That person was tested in mid-March after returning from out-of-state domestic travel. This is in addition to two confirmed cases of the B.1.351 variant, first detected in South Africa, and 19 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the United Kingdom, that have now been detected in Santa Clara County as of March 20.

The presence of the P.1 variant, in addition to the spread of other variants, is a strong reminder that our collective progress in controlling the virus remains tenuous. Community members should continue prevention measures that have already proven highly protective against COVID-19. Non-essential travel is strongly discouraged, and everyone should continue to wear a mask, keep their distance, and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

As many areas lift restrictions and counties head to less restrictive tiers in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, County health officials remind the public that although some activities are now allowed, they are high-risk, and it remains critical for the community to minimize exposure.

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