SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. San Francisco announced on Wednesday that the city moved into Phase 1B of California's COVID-19 vaccination prioritization plan.
The move to Phase 1B will expand vaccine eligibility to people who live or work in San Francisco in the sectors such as education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture.
Phase 1B includes more than 168,000 individuals who live or work in San Francisco, in addition to the approximately 210,000 healthcare workers and people 65 and older who are already eligible.
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 eligible people may not be able to get appointments right away, the announcement said.
"Getting people who live and work in San Francisco vaccinated as quickly as possible will help us keep our entire community safe and save lives," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. "I'm glad we're able to move forward with expanding vaccine eligibility to include them. While appointments are still very limited due to supply, we're ready to ramp up our vaccination sites and open up appointments as we get more vaccine doses."
The network of COVID-19 vaccination sites in San Francisco provides the capacity to vaccinate at least 10,000 people per day, pending supply, according to the announcement.
The insufficient and inconsistent supply of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be the biggest barrier to vaccinating people quickly in San Francisco. The increase in second-dose appointments puts additional strain on San Francisco's COVID-19 vaccination network. As more people become eligible for their second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and yet supply does not increase significantly, health care providers are unable to offer as many first dose appointments.
To date, San Francisco has vaccinated 80 percent of the approximately 210,000 healthcare workers and people 65 and older who are eligible under Phase 1A.