SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Starting tomorrow, San Francisco will begin vaccinating teachers, people in the food and agriculture sectors, and others eligible for Tier 1b of the state’s vaccine prioritization plan.
However, it will be difficult to get an appointment.
Based on current vaccine supplies, the city’s COVID Command Center says vaccination dates for the first dose could drop 80% over the next two weeks.
KRON4 spoke to some of the lucky ones who were able to make an appointment for tomorrow, but getting there wasn’t easy.
How to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in the Bay Area
The owner of the grocery store had several family members at the computer for hours every day, just to get an appointment.
KRON4 also spoke to a local teacher who compared this entire vaccination process to the Hunger Games
It’s a moment that many describe as long overdue.
As of Wednesday, more than 160,000 people who live and work in San Francisco can get COVID-19 vaccinations as the city moves to Tier 1b priority.
While this includes people who work in education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services, many of these people may not get an appointment for weeks.
“That’s what is so stressful as an educator. If you hear over and over again, elected officials say you need to go back to the classroom. You have to do this, you know we will be vaccinated. You would assume there would be a plan in place to bring the educators into line as soon as possible. In and out, ”said Frank Lara.
Frank Lara is a teacher at Buena Vista Horace Mann, a K-8 school in the mission district.
He says it was next to impossible to make an appointment and that he was lucky enough to find a job. He says some of his colleagues weren’t so lucky.
“It really feels like the hunger games of vaccines for educators, no kidding,” Lara said.
Lillian Abuyaghi, who owns the Avenue Fine Food Market on Pacific Avenue with her husband, shares a similar experience.
“It was extremely difficult. Spending many hours at the computer, making phone calls, trying out many different sites. It was a great challenge for all family members who helped us get the appointment, ”said Abuyaghi.
Getting an appointment for the first dose will likely be more difficult, according to the city’s COVID Command Center.
Over the next two weeks, vaccinations against the first dose could decrease by 80% to give more than 90,000 people a second dose within the recommended time frame.
That possible cut in vaccinations doesn’t include federal allocations to pharmacies like Walgreens, where Abuyaghi will receive her first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday.
“As an essential worker, my husband and I are always at risk because so many people come in. We don’t know what they are wearing and this and that. So it is a big deal for us to be protected and to protect others,” so Abuyaghi said.
While the city has the infrastructure to vaccinate more than 10,000 people a day, supply remains the main concern here.
Currently, the city and private providers like Kaiser and UCSF manage around 4,000 and are likely to stay at that rate, with second doses being preferred before new appointments are added.