Santa Clara County has stopped scheduling the first doses of the Coronavirus vaccine, citing a low supply of doses and an unpredictability of the state as a reason.
The news comes as a number of Bay Area officials, including in Santa Clara County, are resisting the way the state has handled vaccine distribution – starting with the stock program in which they argue that the disadvantages are plaguing areas in the region that need to take advantage of Insurance giant Blue Shield to help with that. State vaccination program.
“Due to low vaccine supply from the state and the need to maintain stock for second dose appointments, the county health system stopped scheduling first dose appointments on Friday, March 5, except for a limited number of appointments at community sites, and the county said in a statement.” The first immediately when the supply of the vaccine received from the state allows us to do so. “
On Wednesday, the county said it had notified “several thousand” Kaiser patients who made appointments across the county from March 11 through March 21 that they would return to Kaiser due to supply problems.
“The County is shifting the appointments of Kaiser patients to Kaiser because the state has assured Kaiser that it will get adequate vaccination for its members and its vaccination sites, while the county has not received such a commitment to the uninsured and vulnerable residents we serve,” Santa Clara told the county.
The county said all patients are under the age of 75, adding that Kaiser told the county it would prioritize scheduling appointments for these transferred patients. Kaiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
County Chief Executive Geoff Smith expressed his frustration with the state on Wednesday, saying, “We don’t know where the decisions about allocations are made. We’ve asked and it appears that (the California Department of Public Health) is no longer involved in appropriation decisions – and allocation decisions are made by operations.” The government and the Blue Shield, so we do not know how much the Blue Shield agreement affected it, if at all. “
The state Department of Public Health said in a statement, “The vaccine supply is restricted by overall manufacturing. The federal government has said it expects to increase supplies substantially in April and May. We are working with Blue Shield to create a vaccination network that will be able to deliver 4 million doses per week by the end of April.”
Vaccine supplies have shrunk across the state, in part due to an expected vaccine shortage from Johnson & Johnson. Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that the state does not expect to receive additional doses of the vaccine in the near future, but is hoping that total vaccine supplies “really start moving in the next month and the next month.”
The problems could be compounded Monday, when the state said vaccine eligibility will expand to include California residents with certain disabilities and conditions.
“At this point, we expect the assignment to be less than what we need, so we’ll have to reassess after we become familiar with our new assignment,” Smith said. “Because of the restrictions on dosing, and inventory, I have to say, we have to limit the number of appointments in order to suit the stock we have, and we have requirements for the second doses that we cannot really skip, so what does it mean that if we get less vaccine we will have to restrict appointments more?” .