People with Disabilities, Severe Underlying Conditions and in High-Risk Congregate Settings
27% of San Franciscans have received at least one dose of vaccine
San Francisco, CA – Starting on Monday, March 15, 2021, in accordance with the State’s prioritization plan, San Francisco will begin vaccinating people ages 16-64 with disabilities or with qualifying health conditions considered to put them at high risk for contracting or dying from COVID-19. Additionally, under the State guidance, the City will vaccinate individuals who live or work in a high-risk congregate care facility including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and other congregate residential care and treatment facilities. This will include all people experiencing homelessness, who could transition into congregate settings at a short notice.
…an important part of our efforts to save lives and protect our most vulnerable residents.”London Breed, San Francisco Mayor
Despite this expanded eligibility, vaccine doses remain in short supply, and healthcare providers have been advised to prioritize second doses in the coming weeks. As such, appointments for first vaccine doses are limited, and people who are eligible may not be able to get appointments right away.
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“Getting vaccinations to people with disabilities and who have severe underlying conditions, and people who are in congregate settings, is an important part of our efforts to save lives and protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Breed. “Next week, we’ll be moving forward with expanding vaccine access in San Francisco and we’ll continue working with accessibility advocates and community members to make sure we are doing our best to reach everyone who is eligible. Although supply is still not at the level we need it to be, we’re continuing to make good progress and we’ll keep doing our best to get vaccines to people as quickly and conveniently as we can.”
Severe Health Conditions
Recognizing that defining eligibility based on specific qualifying health conditions may exclude individuals who are not currently receiving medical care or may create burdensome documentation requirements that would impact under-resourced clinics and communities, San Francisco is adopting eligibility criteria that expand on the California Department of Public Health’s listed conditions and ensure low-barrier access to vaccines. Whereas the State more narrowly defines qualifying conditions, San Francisco will broaden the categories for cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic pulmonary disease, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, San Francisco will augment the conditions under the immunocompromised category, so that people living with HIV are included. Other eligible underlying health conditions include Down syndrome, pregnancy, and sickle cell disease.
Jails and Homeless Shelters
Congregate settings such as jails, homeless shelters, and behavioral health facilities, which house large concentrations of individuals with chronic health conditions, are considered high-risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. In anticipation of the State’s authorization to proceed with vaccinating people living in congregate settings and who are not able to easily access vaccination sites, the COVID Command Center and Department of Public Health coordinated a series of mobile vaccination pilot programs to test strategies for reaching this population, as well as to begin vaccinating these communities. These pilots will help the City scale up its efforts to reach eligible people when increased vaccine supply allows. The Department of Public Health will also work closely with organizations serving people experiencing homelessness and with disabilities to reach these communities.
The complete release is available via PDF below.