Santa Clara County officials warn of vaccine scarcity as state widens eligibility

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN

Santa Clara County officials cautioned at a press conference today that California’s expanded vaccine eligibility may have a limited immediate effect in the county.

County COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said that roughly 400,000 county residents will become newly eligible for vaccination on April 1.

“That’s a lot of people to add to our list,” Fenstersheib said. “The supply of vaccine is very limited. We were told in our allocation announcement yesterday that we’d be getting 58,000 plus doses of vaccine next week. That 58,000 doses doesn’t go very far.”

He added that the county has the capacity to vaccinate some 200,000 people a week, but given the slow supply of doses, the county only utilizes around a third of that capacity.

Fenstersheib urged residents to continue to abide by COVID-19 safety guidelines in order to prevent the virus from further spreading and mutating, noting that an increase in variants could limit the vaccine’s effectiveness. 

“Please continue to be patient — we’re being told by the federal government and state that the vaccine will be flowing a little better in the month of April,” he said.

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