COVID vaccine: Bay Area to prioritize older adults amid supply shortage

COVID vaccine: Bay Area to prioritize older adults amid supply shortage

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — COVID-19 vaccine supply shortages are prompting Bay Area public health officials to prioritize vaccinating older adults.

Health officials in eight jurisdictions across the Bay Area are urging all health systems to prioritize shots for patients aged 65 and older due to the group’s high mortality rate with the virus.

Marin, Napa and Solano counties are prioritizing residents age 75 and older. Meanwhile Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are prioritizing tho age 65 and older.

This is in addition to continuing vaccine Phase 1A-eligible health care workers, many of whom are now expecting their second doses.

Across the Bay Area, most COVID-19 deaths have been in the 65 and up group. In Contra Costa, 82% of COVID-19 deaths have been in the age group.

COVID vaccine: Bay Area to prioritize older adults amid supply shortage
Table: Contra Costa Health Services

“While we are still in the midst of a severe winter COVID surge, one of our best ways to prevent further deaths is to vaccinate those at greatest risk of dying from COVID, our senior citizens,” Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County said.

Officials say the Bay Area is receiving only a small fraction of the vaccines needed to vaccinate residents aged 65 and older, much less the broader occupation-based groups the state has included in Phase 1B Tier 1, like educators, food and agricultural workers, and emergency responders.

With the current pace of supply, it will take several weeks to offer a first dose to all older adults who would like to be vaccinated.

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