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It's official: 1 million residents receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in Santa Clara County

'We are celebrating today ... but we still have a ways to go,' says vaccine officer

CVS pharmacists give the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to Channing House residents at the Palo Alto retirement community on Dec. 28, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Santa Clara County vaccinated its millionth resident on Friday — a notable milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We need to take a moment and take a deep breath and really celebrate," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. "This is a really big deal."

The county has a population of 1.9 million people and less than 20% are children under 16, so 1 million vaccinated residents mean more than 60% of the county's population has received at least one dose and more than one-third of the eligible population, those 16 years and older, are totally vaccinated.

The news comes only four months after the county vaccinated its first person and a week after those 16 years and older became eligible for inoculation.

"I never thought when we first started this effort that we would be here today," county Vaccine and Testing Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said. "We are celebrating today ... but we still have a ways to go."

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He noted that at this rate, 85% of the population could be vaccinated by June, but it will likely take a couple more months. That's because getting the remaining population inoculated will be a difficult feat, Fenstersheib said.

County data found that less than 10% of the population is vaccine-hesitant and the remaining roughly 30% may have a hard time getting vaccinated because of structural inequities and other barriers.

"We know that structural barriers such as discrimination, racism, xenophobia, access to technology, transportation and linguistic and cultural barriers, have meant that this is a much, much harder vaccine to access for many of our residents," said Dr. Rocio Luna, deputy county executive.

So, equity remains as the county's top focus in terms of vaccinations — especially in the hardest-hit areas of south county and east San Jose, where most of the Latinx and front-line workers live.

But county leaders say their equity outreach efforts have been effective. More than 16,000 residents were vaccinated through the county's door-to-door outreach efforts in the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

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The county also has five pop-up sites, open most days, that will now be open later hours and during weekends.

"And we are pivoting this strategy to ensure that vaccine appointments are available on a walk-in basis," Luna said. "We won't stop until everyone who is eligible has been offered a vaccine ... and we will redouble our efforts to ensure that we close these gaps."

Still, despite the notable milestone, health leaders say it's still paramount to wear a mask and follow other COVID-19 safety precautions.

"There is going to come a time where it's going to feel safer and safer to take your mask off," Cody said. "However, we don't know who's vaccinated and who's not, so it is still the safest thing to wear a mask when you're close to people who are not from your household."

But Cody and county leaders stressed that the safest thing to do for an individual, the county and the country's health is to get vaccinated.

Right now, every vaccination site in the county has open appointments, with some locations opening as early as 7:30 a.m. The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds site will have vaccine appointments until 9 p.m.

Residents can learn more about vaccine safety and book an appointment by visiting sccfreevax.org or calling 211.

Because of the county's "no wrong door" policy, residents can book a vaccine appointment at any site, through any provider, regardless of insurance status.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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It's official: 1 million residents receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in Santa Clara County

'We are celebrating today ... but we still have a ways to go,' says vaccine officer

by / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 3:36 pm

Santa Clara County vaccinated its millionth resident on Friday — a notable milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We need to take a moment and take a deep breath and really celebrate," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. "This is a really big deal."

The county has a population of 1.9 million people and less than 20% are children under 16, so 1 million vaccinated residents mean more than 60% of the county's population has received at least one dose and more than one-third of the eligible population, those 16 years and older, are totally vaccinated.

The news comes only four months after the county vaccinated its first person and a week after those 16 years and older became eligible for inoculation.

"I never thought when we first started this effort that we would be here today," county Vaccine and Testing Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said. "We are celebrating today ... but we still have a ways to go."

He noted that at this rate, 85% of the population could be vaccinated by June, but it will likely take a couple more months. That's because getting the remaining population inoculated will be a difficult feat, Fenstersheib said.

County data found that less than 10% of the population is vaccine-hesitant and the remaining roughly 30% may have a hard time getting vaccinated because of structural inequities and other barriers.

"We know that structural barriers such as discrimination, racism, xenophobia, access to technology, transportation and linguistic and cultural barriers, have meant that this is a much, much harder vaccine to access for many of our residents," said Dr. Rocio Luna, deputy county executive.

So, equity remains as the county's top focus in terms of vaccinations — especially in the hardest-hit areas of south county and east San Jose, where most of the Latinx and front-line workers live.

But county leaders say their equity outreach efforts have been effective. More than 16,000 residents were vaccinated through the county's door-to-door outreach efforts in the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

The county also has five pop-up sites, open most days, that will now be open later hours and during weekends.

"And we are pivoting this strategy to ensure that vaccine appointments are available on a walk-in basis," Luna said. "We won't stop until everyone who is eligible has been offered a vaccine ... and we will redouble our efforts to ensure that we close these gaps."

Still, despite the notable milestone, health leaders say it's still paramount to wear a mask and follow other COVID-19 safety precautions.

"There is going to come a time where it's going to feel safer and safer to take your mask off," Cody said. "However, we don't know who's vaccinated and who's not, so it is still the safest thing to wear a mask when you're close to people who are not from your household."

But Cody and county leaders stressed that the safest thing to do for an individual, the county and the country's health is to get vaccinated.

Right now, every vaccination site in the county has open appointments, with some locations opening as early as 7:30 a.m. The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds site will have vaccine appointments until 9 p.m.

Residents can learn more about vaccine safety and book an appointment by visiting sccfreevax.org or calling 211.

Because of the county's "no wrong door" policy, residents can book a vaccine appointment at any site, through any provider, regardless of insurance status.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2021 at 11:43 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 24, 2021 at 11:43 am

There is some ambiguity here. The article states that 1 million residents out of 1.9 million.

Personally, I know many people who live in SCC who have driven 2 hours to get vaccinated, Sacramento, Marin, Central Coast, etc. Some have been vaccinated in San Mateo county as it has been easiest for them.

My question then is whether this number is the number of vaccinations administered, the number of 1st dose/2nd dose counted as separate vaccinations, the number of people in total receiving at least 1st dose, and whether these numbers refer to actual SCC residents as opposed to residents of other counties who have received vaccinations here because they work here or similar? This number may not be giving us an accurate picture of what is really going on.

It is good news that we are getting vaccinated, but since people are driving up to 2 hours to get vaccinated because that is the only way they are able to get an appointment, the news seems to give a different message to what we are experiencing about availability locally.


No heat
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Apr 26, 2021 at 10:02 am
No heat, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 26, 2021 at 10:02 am

They're reporting people here, not doses. The State of California has a tracking system so that most people who get vaccinated in another county get into the tracking system for their home county, though Santa Clara County health authorities are apparently convinced that it under-reports vaccinations. See [this dashboard](Web Link) for details.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 26, 2021 at 4:22 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Apr 26, 2021 at 4:22 pm

I wonder about the accuracy of the numbers. I've had both of my shots for months but during the snafu trying to get my second, I signed up with several purveyors -- the county, the state, Walgreen's etc. -- and I still keep getting codes and invitations to let me get vaccinated.

Someone's not updating the databases right.


chini
Registered user
Midtown
on Apr 27, 2021 at 10:04 am
chini, Midtown
Registered user
on Apr 27, 2021 at 10:04 am

Now that vaccinated, is there a way to get the personal information removed/deleted from myturn government databases before that info gets hacked? Does anyone know?

(Even "reputable" tech companies can't keep their data from getting hacked.)


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