COVID: Santa Clara County stops scheduling first-dose vaccine appointments – The Mercury News

Santa Clara County has stopped scheduling first-dose coronavirus vaccine visits, indicating a unpredictable and low supply of dosages from the state as the factor.
The news comes as a number of Bay Area authorities, including in Santa Clara County, push back at the way the state has actually handled vaccine circulation– from an equity program they argue downsides needy locations of the area to tapping huge insurer Blue Shield to aid with the states vaccine program.
” Due to low vaccine supply from the need and the state to save stock for second dosage consultations, the County Health System stopped scheduling very first dosage appointments on Friday, March 5, other than for a restricted variety of walk-in appointments in community-based locations,” the county said in a declaration. “The county will resume scheduling first dose consultations instantly when the vaccine supply gotten from the state allows us to do so.”
On Wednesday, the county said it had actually notified “numerous thousand” Kaiser patients who had actually scheduled consultations through the county for March 11 through March 21 that they were being moved back to Kaiser due to the fact that of supply concerns.
” The county is transferring Kaiser clients appointments to Kaiser because the state has assured Kaiser it will have adequate vaccine for its members and its vaccine sites, while the county has gotten no such dedication for the uninsured and susceptible populations we serve,” Santa Clara County stated.
The clients are all under age 75, the county said, including that Kaiser told the county it would prioritize scheduling consultations for these transfer clients. Kaiser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
County Executive Jeff Smith expressed frustration with the state Wednesday, stating, “We dont know where the decisions are being made about the allotments. Weve asked and it seems like (the California Department of Public Health) is no longer included in the allowance decisions– and the allotment decisions are being made by federal government ops and Blue Shield, so we do not know how much heaven Shield agreement affected it, if at all.”
In a declaration, the states public health department said, “Vaccine supply is constrained by total production. The federal government has actually said that it expects supplies to increase meaningfully in April and May. We are dealing with Blue Shield to develop a vaccination network that will have the ability to administer 4 million dosages each week by the end of April.”
Vaccine supply has actually constricted throughout the state, in part due to the fact that of a shortage of expected vaccine from Johnson & & Johnson. Gov. Gavin Newsom stated Wednesday that the state didnt expect to get more doses of the vaccine in the instant future, but hoped that general vaccine supply would “really start to move next month and the month after that.”
The problems could be intensified on Monday, when the state has actually said vaccine eligibility will broaden to Californians with specific impairments and conditions.
” At this point, were anticipating that the allowance will be lower than we need, so well have to reassess after we discover our brand-new allocation,” Smith stated. “Because of limitations on dosages, stock, I must say, we have to restrict the variety of appointments in order to fit the inventory that we have, and we have requirements for second dosages that we truly cant avoid, so what it would suggest if we got less vaccine is that we d have to additional constrain the visits.”

In a statement, the states public health department stated, “Vaccine supply is constrained by overall production. The federal government has actually said that it expects products to increase meaningfully in April and May. We are working with Blue Shield to produce a vaccination network that will be able to administer 4 million doses per week by the end of April.”