County: 65? Now, you can get vaccinated anywhere | February 5, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 5, 2021

County: 65? Now, you can get vaccinated anywhere

Expanded access to shots throughout Santa Clara County could help open bottleneck for PAMF, Kaiser patients

by Sue Dremann

COVID-19 vaccinations will now be available to all residents and workers in Santa Clara County who are 65 years and older, regardless of where they receive their health care, county officials announced on Thursday morning.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at [email protected]


Posted by Midlander
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Midlander is a registered user.

I'm glad this is happening. It felt really weird that some eligible people were unable to get vaccinations because they had insurance, but with slow-moving health care providers.

I'd like to see vaccination rolled out both equitably and quickly. That means getting it out to both insured and uninsured people, without either group feeling they are becoming stuck in "the slow lane". So allowing everyone to use every provider seems like a good move.

I'm not eligible yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Posted by Mary Enright
a resident of Monroe Park
on Feb 4, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Mary Enright is a registered user.

Have tried d to make an online appointment at Mountain View Community Center and County Fairgrounds. Only appointment options given are Feb 4-7th. Am then told that no appointments are available at any time on those dates.

Posted by Midtown Local
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2021 at 5:52 pm

Midtown Local is a registered user.

After huge frustration with the Sutter/PAMF website offering slots and then failing to finish the process of scheduling, I switched to Stanford. Even as a non-patient, it let me make an account and schedule an appointment. Nothing available locally, but there are loads of appointments in Pleasanton starting on Friday the 12th. On my way! :-)

Posted by Midtown Local
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2021 at 5:54 pm

Midtown Local is a registered user.

Huge thank-you to Palo Alto Online for sending the Breaking News alert!

Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 5, 2021 at 10:40 am

Anneke is a registered user.

Medical providers would have gained great kudos for helping their patients over 75 and 65 get appointments as soon as possible. Instead, we were told "to get it anywhere we could get it." So, I tried various sites, only to read that they were overburdened and try again later. When I called, after three different voicemail instructions, the phone went dead.

When I tried my own medical provider, I was told that I already had an appointment on March 15, which is true. They did not allow me to check if there were earlier openings.

This could have been done much better.

Posted by Lynne Henderson
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2021 at 9:28 am

Lynne Henderson is a registered user.

I have been trying to find an appointment through PAMF or the County ever since people 65 or older who are residents of SCC became became eligible, and tried Stanford's website earlier this morning. I would like to be vaccinated as I am in several high risk categories. The County website won't let me complete the form and calling is an exercise in futility.
PAMF keeps saying no appointments in Mountain View or Palo Alto. As I am not in the Stanford Health system, Stanford wanted a credit card number or credit report to "verify [my] identity!" It then told me my perfectly valid Visa number was invalid. I tried again, with the same result. I guess I'll just give up for now.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 6, 2021 at 9:48 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Yesterday I called Joe Smitian's office in frustration to ask him what's happening with the county web site because I'd been bounced out for days at the very last step where you confirm you're not a robot. HE had to tell the county their web site didn't was screwy. I told him their phone system is dropping people and HIS office will report that to the county people!

Does no one in Silicon Valley know how to check their systems and put up error messages when necessary telling people to try back in days or weeks rather than wasting our time?

I did finally score a vaccine appt via PAMF but what a week. See Diana Diamond's excellent blog today re similar problems at PAMF and elsewhere.
Web Link

Posted by pestocat
a resident of University South
on Feb 7, 2021 at 11:24 am

pestocat is a registered user.

Check here, we were able to get appointment for this coming Tuesday. Web Link
Answer a couple questions and then you can make an appointment. Locations are for the Fairgrounds and also close by Mt. View.

Posted by pares
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm

pares is a registered user.

If you are trying to make an appointment and the computer throws you out at the last screen (you think you have an appointment but it doesn't process it completely), try a different method. Someone told me they think the problem is too many people sign up for the very first appointments that they see. Try a later appointment, later in the day or the next day. The computer may be unable to handle the load if too many people are trying to book the same appointment at once.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2021 at 7:53 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

If the County web site /phones can't handle bookings and calls, they should put up error messages/ recordings saying CHECK BACK LATER DUE TO HIGH DEMAND.

Instead, they wasted thousands+ of people's time for DAYS days AND sent us on wild goose chases re OUR privacy settings it was THEIR problem.

County Supervisor Joe Simitian shouldn't have to report systems failures TO the County or provide customer service FOR them. The County should have tracked failed service requests and seen that appointment bookings / calls weren't getting through.

We're lucky to someone like Joe and his bright staff who are on top of things. Maybe they teach Customer Service here in Silicon Valley,

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2021 at 7:56 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Pares, it wasn't a matter of changing appointment times. We were given choices of appointments and our choices were accepted. And we were never told to pick another date/time. The phone calls all got dropped after holding for 35 minutes with no message.

Posted by MP Resident
a resident of another community
on Feb 9, 2021 at 10:45 am

MP Resident is a registered user.

PAMF/Sutter Health has really dropped the ball. I’ve been calling and logging onto their site “off and on” for days. No appointments on web site, disconnected after holding for 45 minutes, LONG worthlesss slow talking recorded messages that you’re forced to listen to only to find out they have “exceeded their call capacity.” When they don’t have vaccines and they cannot make an appointment WHY the heck can’t they update their recorded message or web site to reflect that! My time is valuable and I cannot park my butt on the phone and call non-stop for hours “hoping” to get through. I am so disgusted with PAMF/Sutter that I am strongly considering switching my healthcare elsewhere.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Resident is a registered user.

I've been called for jury duty on a trial that will last for two months. The courtroom Covid accommodations are not adequate--Worse than the accommodations I see at the grocery store--a place that makes me very uncomfortable. I get in and out of the grocery store as fast as I can and order what I can online. I am over 60, but not yet 65 so I'm in a higher risk group but cannot get vaccinated. The same government that restricts my vaccine access is compelling me to sit in a room with 30+ other strangers every day for two months. This puts me (and my husband with whom I share a home) at risk. They have failed to answer any email or phone call inquiries about Covid accommodations. I am furious. I am willing to do my jury service, but they should not be trading off jurists' health and safety to provide speedy trial. They should provide jurists with a vaccine and time to establish immunity BEFORE we serve.

Posted by JB
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm

JB is a registered user.

I agree with Resident above that jury duty presents a less than comforting scenario for jurors afraid of getting Covid-19. Can you request a date further in the future when you have been vaccinated?

Here is the latest information about where to receive Covid vaccinations in Santa Clara County. Any Santa Clara County citizen can go to any health provider in the county to get the vaccine. Levi Stadium just started providing vaccinations, and my friend got a reservation for tomorrow when he went to the website link yesterday (listed under County of Santa Clara Health System in the link below; look for multiple sites). He was also able to secure a later appointment at Stanford and a later appointment at Bay Area Community Health in San Jose (we went there recently and appreciated being able to stay in our car while waiting to pull up to the outdoors vaccine tent). Good luck.

Web Link

Posted by MP Resident
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2021 at 7:54 pm

MP Resident is a registered user.

I was also just summoned to Jury Duty and on the form I received (I live in San Mateo County) it allows me to defer serving for 6 mos. I also have not had a COVID shot yet and would never put myself in a room with a 100+ other people waiting to see if my number gets called. There was also nothing mentioned in the paperwork I received about COVID concerns, the precautions they may or may not be taking, or whether I’ve been vaccinated yet. (I’m 66.) Glad I was able to at least send in a deferal.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:15 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

I'm middle aged but not over 65, so it will be awhile before I'm eligible for a vaccine. If I received a jury notice I would do something I never thought I'd do. I wouldn't show up. No way would I put my health in jeopardy sitting with total strangers for that long of time. We can't gather for holidays, etc. but they want us in court. They don't send jury summons certified mail so they have no way of knowing whether or not you received it. They obviously aren't concerned about our well being. The heck with the courts. Six months from now Covid will still be a threat to our health, so it wouldn't be a long enough deferral for me. Thanks for being responsible, but I'd pass.

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:21 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

We got our first shot at Mt. View community center today.

Very well organized.

We registered about a week ago and both my calls to the county a d Valley Med were answered after a wait.

They booked our second shot while we were there.

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Feb 10, 2021 at 8:24 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

My wife says she went to the county website and there was a free vaccination portal and she followed the instructions

Posted by Brian
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 12, 2021 at 12:11 pm

Brian is a registered user.

I have an appointment at the Fairgrounds for Monday 2/15 - I think. I received a confirmation email, but no instructions. I plan to show up near the appointed time and hope for the best.

Posted by Ron Doleman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Ron Doleman is a registered user.

Don't they administer these innoculations at CVS and Walgreen's?

I am planning to get as many shots as seasonal flu shot, diphtheria booster, pneumonia vaccination, tetanus in ovulation, and second shingles innoculation + the Covid-19 shot all in one day as my timeframe to do so is very limited.

Currently checking to see if my primary care MD or her physician's assistant would be willing to make a house call to square these shots away as well.

Too bad they can't simply hand them out in a sugar cube like the Sabin polio vaccine back in the early 1960s.

People are in a hurry these days while others are not convinced of the vaccine's efficacy or safety. Only time will tell.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 13, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

I'm 61 and called for jury duty. The state restricts me from getting a vaccine but compels me to serve.

They should give jurists (and court employees and defendants) a vaccine (and time to establish immunity) instead of $15/day to encourage them to serve.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 13, 2021 at 2:04 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

@ Consider
I agree with you. You need to speak up beyond this forum. Try contacting our SC County Health Officer and other County pols since juries are done on a county basis (pls confirm).
It seems I am the sole individual contacting local and regional and state officials to point out the egregious oversight of the risk to the 50-64 age group. We are lumped in with 18 +, and overlooked since we don’t have lobbyists as we move past the 65+ age group in CA.
I support ALL elders, true medical, health, public safety personnel being vaccinated ASAP.
But did you know young drugstore stock clerks (not even cashiers) are now ahead of age 50-64!?
Anyone calling themselves a “companion” to 65+, those calling themselves an “educator” goes ahead!? Very broad categorization may take months and leave us (higher risk) stuck with what’s remaining - a lower efficacy vaccine!
Then THEY will be rushing to receive the higher quality booster version, no doubt.
We will have to live cautiously for the long future.
And I fear other powerful entities like USC and UCLA which announced they plan to open in August, will lobby to get their huge student groups vaccinated ahead of us! Meanwhile, a handful of medical issues (though many more exist) are acknowledged so as to vaccinate younger persons - ok. What I am not ok with is the tremendous millions of younger folks with minimal possible exposure but the low risk of youth 18-40 going ahead of 50-64. Once they are vaccinated and protected they will be out and about, traveling with their Covid vaccination cards. We remain in full lockdown. We remain at risk of THEM, while THEY were never at much risk to begin with! See CDC and other soyrces, including England as repirted in The Economist, for risk rate per decade of life: (severe illness, ICU usage, death).
It’s outrageous to expect 50-64 YOs to serve on juries! Please contact ALL your politicians to remind them of the oversight of this high risk age group.

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