COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to San Diegans 50 and older Thursday

Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 20:47:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Starting April 1, Californians 50 and older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Sharp Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Palomar Health, and Scripps Health all tell ABC 10News they’re prepared for the next phase; however, booking appointments does depend on how many vaccines are available.

“We’re prepared in the sense of we’re ready to go; we just don’t have the vaccines yet. For this week, we only got 10,000 doses. That’s not enough to cover people 50 and older,” said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Chief Medical Officer for Acute Care at Scripps Health.

Scripps runs the Del Mar super station that has had to shut down multiple times, including this week, due to a vaccine shortage.

“We’ve been told that we’re getting less doses at Del Mar because of the zip code it’s in. I completely understand the equity reasons. But Del Mar is the ideal site; people come from all over,” she said. “I just asked the county today, ‘can you give us any indication of what we might expect for next week?’ and we don’t know yet.”

Sharieff said they typically get little notice of the vaccine supply they will receive, making it difficult to plan ahead.

“We’re told Thursday or Friday what we might get. We don’t even get them physically into our hands until Monday or Tuesday, and then we have to use them by the end of the week,” she explained. “If you give us the doses, we can do a lot of community good. We can ramp up to 10,000 doses a day.”

Sharieff said residents have also had many troubles scheduling appointments with the state’s “My Turn” website.

“Yesterday, they overscheduled 800 patients,” she said.

The county did open new vaccination sites this week in areas heavily impacted by the coronavirus.

The Health and Human Services Agency tells ABC 10News the county will receive about a 23 percent increase in vaccine supply throughout the week.

More vaccines are needed, especially as vaccine eligibility expands once again on April 15 to Californians 16 and older.

As of Tuesday, about 560,000 San Diegans, or roughly 20 percent, have been fully vaccinated.
More than 921,000 residents have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

Shareiff encourages all eligible San Diegans to sign up when they can.

Because Wednesday is a holiday, the county is holding its weekly COVID-19 briefing on Thursday instead.