FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2021
Workers in the education and childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture sectors will be able to schedule vaccine appointments
Santa Clara County, CA – County officials announced today that healthcare providers across Santa Clara County will expand access to COVID-19 vaccination to workers in education and childcare, emergency services, and the food and agriculture industries, starting February 28, 2021.
As vaccine access expands to these additional groups, focusing vaccination efforts on the most impacted areas of the community and older residents at greatest risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 will remain a critical focus and priority. This expansion of vaccine access is planned as the County Health System continues to boost its vaccine infrastructure, increasing capacity at both its large vaccination centers as well as smaller community-based and mobile sites. All of these efforts continue to be limited by both vaccine supply and changing vaccine distribution plans from the State of California.
“As we make progress toward our goal of vaccinating at least 85 percent of our residents age 16 or older by this summer, we are laser focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccinations for those communities most disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara.
As the County expands access to essential workers, it will expand its multi-layered outreach and access strategies, locating new clinics in the hardest hit communities, providing drop-in and evening/weekend options, conducting robust outreach, and offering assistance to residents with scheduling vaccination appointments. These efforts include door-to-door outreach, outreach to businesses with eligible workers, outreach through community-based organizations in hardest hit communities, and dissemination of information through many channels in multiple languages. The County Health System is currently scheduling nearly 10,000 vaccination appointments at sites across the county each day, in addition to several vaccination sites now operating in both East San José and Gilroy that do not require an appointment.
“We are working closely with a large network of trusted community partners to ensure that our most impacted communities have access to vaccinations,” said Rocio Luna, Deputy Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara.
Expanding access to additional groups comes after Santa Clara County reached a key milestone – more than half of county residents age 75 and older received at least one dose of the vaccine, and soon half of those 65 and older will have received at least one dose. The County is urging older residents who have not yet been vaccinated to schedule an appointment now.
The County’s website at sccfreevax.org will include updates and information, including when those newly eligible can start to schedule vaccine appointments.
The County encourages all residents 65 and older and healthcare workers to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible. Residents without internet access or who need additional assistance can call 211 for assistance in multiple languages. Appointments fill up quickly, but new appointments will be regularly released as vaccine supply allows, and community members are encouraged to check regularly.
The County reminds residents that even as more residents are vaccinated, everyone needs to continue to practice proven measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing masks and physical distancing.
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