FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2021
“No Wrong Door” System Throughout County Will Help Ensure Speedy Vaccination of Residents Most Vulnerable to Severe Illness and Death from COVID-19
Santa Clara County, CA – Officials announced today that the County of Santa Clara Health System and several other vaccine providers throughout the county will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to any county resident age 65 and older, regardless of their healthcare provider or insurance. This “no wrong door” system is designed to ensure that county residents most vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19 can access vaccines more quickly and seamlessly. “The state’s complex vaccine distribution and allocation system, combined with vaccine supply shortages, has led to an uneven vaccine rollout across the county depending on where people get their medical care,” said Dr. Jeff Smith, County Executive for the County of Santa Clara. “The ‘no wrong door’ approach we are implementing is designed to get available vaccines into arms as quickly and equitably as possible in order to save lives.”
Eighty-one percent of COVID-19 related deaths in Santa Clara County have occurred among individuals age 65 or older. “Given limited supply of vaccine and the continuing high rates of COVID-19, we must prioritize vaccinating those at greatest risk of death or serious illness,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Public Health Director for the County of Santa Clara. “We are anxious to vaccinate a much broader segment of the population and are ready to do so as soon as vaccine supplies allow.”
The County continues to prioritize equitable access to vaccine, particularly for the County’s hardest hit communities, in all aspects of its vaccination operations. The County is expanding capacity at new and existing vaccination sites, including in Gilroy and East San José. The County’s own clinics, as well as its partnerships with community clinics, ensure that residents can access vaccines in community-based settings. The County will continue to work with community partners and stakeholders to explore and implement innovative and community-centered strategies to increase vaccine access.
“Our effort to get more and more folks vaccinated requires both simplicity and clarity,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. “Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. If we say, ‘we’re all in this together,’ we have to mean it. Access to the vaccine cannot be dependent on who your healthcare provider is, or the number of vaccines they happen to receive in any given week. We’ve got to give every resident of Santa Clara County access to the vaccine, consistent with federal, state and local criteria, and we have to do it quickly. There will be many challenges to this effort in the coming weeks and months, but I’m convinced today’s announcement will get us there more fully, more fairly and faster.“
The County’s website at sccfreevax.org provides information and links for making vaccine appointments with providers across the county. In addition, residents without internet access or who need additional assistance can make appointments for the County Health System vaccine sites through the Valley Connection Call Center at 408-970-2000. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4:30pm. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages.
The County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is updated daily with information about vaccine allocation and administration by healthcare providers throughout the county.
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