SAN MATEO COUNTY WEBPAGE.
A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important interventions to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In active partnership with the state and federal government, San Mateo County Health is committed to being transparent, careful, and above all, equitable in providing COVID-19 vaccines to everyone who needs and requests vaccination.
Currently Vaccinating Phase 1a
San Mateo County is currently vaccinating according to the state’s Phase 1a guidelines with three tier categories of recipients. These include health care workers and residents of long term care facilities.
The California Department of Public Health defines health care workers as ”Persons at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings. This population includes persons at direct risk of exposure in their non-clinical roles, such as, but not limited to, environmental services, patient transport, or interpretation.”
Health care workers who are Kaiser members (those who are covered by health plans from Kaiser Permanente) and fit into Phase 1a Tiers 1, 2, or 3, can obtain COVID-19 vaccination by contacting their primary care provider at Kaiser.
Who Will Be Able to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone who lives in San Mateo County, and we are laying the foundation now to make access as easy as possible. Because initial vaccine supplies will be limited, the federal government has created guidance, which California has further detailed for who will receive the vaccine and in what order. The first groups to receive vaccines will be:
- Healthcare Workers (estimated at 38,000 people in San Mateo County)
- Healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing work (clinical and non-clinical)
- Medical First Responders (paramedics, EMTs)
- Residents in Long Term Care Facilities (estimated at 12,000 people in San Mateo County)
Equity in Vaccine Distribution
San Mateo County and the state of California have made equitable distribution a key priority of local vaccine distribution. In this first phase of targeting healthcare workers and long term care residents, we are reaching the diverse residents and workers who are shouldering the highest risk of exposure. We will fully follow the state’s prioritization in the early phases. In this prioritization, it’s important to acknowledge that health care workers are defined by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings; including janitorial staff, those transporting patients, and other staff who may be missed without careful consideration for an equitable approach.
Read more about our focus on equity in vaccine distribution.
How Will the Vaccine Get to People?
In this initial phase – both because of the limited supply and the need for specialized freezers – San Mateo County Health will coordinate the allocation of the vaccine to facilities within the county. We have partnered with the hospitals, clinics, and care facilities throughout the county to ensure they are positioned to be able to administer the vaccine to their staff/residents. When organizations cannot vaccinate their staff or residents directly, a county partner will do so.
It is worth noting that some multi-county health care providers – such as Kaiser, Sutter, and the Department of Veterans Affairs – will receive doses directly from manufacturers.
When Will We Start Vaccinating?
We have started! Our first shipments of vaccine have arrived and more are coming.
San Mateo County was allotted an initial 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and expect to receive five to six times that amount of (Pfizer and Moderna combined) doses by the end of the month. Administration of the vaccines began right away.
We estimate 24,000 of the total 38,000 health care workers (this includes direct clinical care, those who handle cleaning, etc.) in San Mateo County will receive their first (of two) doses of vaccine from these initial shipments. Future shipments are already in process and will provide the second doses for these critical groups.
Who Will Be Next?
After health care workers and long term care residents, we expect the guidance to then focus on older adults and essential workers. These residents are critical to our daily existence and are at highest risk of becoming infected, severely ill, or spreading COVID-19.
We will share more on vaccine distribution for community-wide vaccinations as soon as we receive more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.
How Will We Track Progress?
We will monitor vaccine distribution closely. Some of the metrics we will track and share publicly include:
- # doses distributed
- # individuals receiving vaccine (will break this down by different groups to make sure key groups are not being left out)
- # mass vaccination clinics
- # unused/wasted doses