With Santa Clara County aiming to inject 140,000 people at the mass vaccination centers this week, some of the smaller locations say they are struggling to get enough customers.
After four months of waiting, Steven Cordero of San Jose returns to work with his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in his arm. He works near this walk-in clinic on the Mexican Heritage Plaza and noticed something else.
Just two weeks ago, the lines were filled with people waiting for a vaccine, and there were no lines on Wednesday.
With Santa Clara County aiming to inject 140,000 people at the mass vaccination centers this week, some of the smaller locations say they are struggling to get enough customers. Marianne Favro reports.
“I used to come by here every day and see the long lines and I said ‘no, this is not the time’,” he said. “But I came by today and I didn’t see any lines.”
The site had 500 doses to hand out on Tuesday, but only about 400 people showed up to receive an injection. The same happened on Wednesday and other clinics are reporting a similar problem.
“We are seeing reluctance to use vaccines, especially in our pop-up locations where appointments are not required,” said Ricardo Romero-Morales of Santa Clara County Public Health.
Another possible factor is that the county has recently received hundreds of thousands of unexpected doses from the federal government.
“We’re used to higher volume, but we just don’t see it this week,” said Omar Rodriguez of the Mexican Heritage Plaza. “I think it’s because the vaccine is now available all over the province.”
But the province insists that while the clinics do not reach maximum daily capacity, no vaccines are lost.
As for Steven, the shift in vaccine popularity didn’t mean waiting, plenty of places to sit after the injection, and some new peace of mind during his lunch break.
“I feel relieved to finally get the chance,” said Steven.
In the next two weeks, the province will also begin transitioning clinics from day to night.
“Not only [the county] but our partners are also really looking to shift to evening hours, and we are thinking about real evening hours until 8-9pm to make sure we can reach as many people as possible, ”said Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Rocio Luna. “Working people.”
About 53% of Californians 16 and older have at least one dose. The challenge may convince others, says Dr. Monica Gandhi of UCSF.
“Overall, I’m going to say I’m a little nervous, but I’m not nervous about the lines yet,” she said, adding that 70% vaccination coverage should be sufficient for herd immunity.
We will therefore have to wait and see whether the demand really levels off.
“People who really wanted the vaccine, they did everything they could to figure out how to get an appointment earlier, and now we’re working more on the people who are busy, they will get there, they will have their time” and also some of the hesitant that I think we will get, ”said Gandhi.
She is also encouraged by a federal study showing that about 10% of the Bay Area are reluctant to get the vaccine. Yet other countries, such as San Mateo, are short of supply.
If you live there, you have to go to San Francisco or the Oakland Coliseum – if you can’t find one at your local pharmacy.