LAFAYETTE, Calif. - California’s vaccination race may not reach the desired conclusion Friday. Too many unvaccinated people, coupled with too few hours in the day, mean many of those eligible -- 65-and older – will still be waiting.
"I just figure it’s the smartest thing to do so I figured why not. I’m almost 70 and decided I should take the brave leap," said Sandra, a grandmother who’s willing to get the COVID-19 vaccination shot.
She will have difficulty finding a spot serving her age group.
San Francisco started Wednesday at two of its clinics. And Contra Costa County announced they'll make appointments for that age group, though the slots may be weeks away.
In Santa Clara and Napa counties, officials say they can't vaccinate those 65 and older yet. That’s because they're just getting started on those over 75. The same is true of Sutter and Stanford health systems. That’s leading to a lot of confusion and anxiety.
"Rolling this out by different risk group when we don't have an adequate amount of vaccine, and we have different kinds of vaccines, makes for a very confusing set of messages that patients are getting and frankly that we're getting," said Dr. Baldeep Singh, a Stanford Medicine professor of internal medicine.
Added Dr. Rebecca Parish of Comprehensive Wellness: "My 83-year-old patient called me in tears. she tried to make an appointment with one of the pharmacies and was unable to navigate the system."
Parish has come up with her own partial workaround, that she’ll implement this weekend.
She’s working with the City of Lafayette and local non-profits to set up a drive thru vaccination clinic this weekend.
She expects to have 100 medical volunteers on hand to administer the Pfizer vaccine. The effort is a way to help seniors who might otherwise fall through the cracks.
"If I was going to put in the blood sweat and tears and promise my firstborn to get certified, we're going to give it to as many people as we can. And I just think communities coming together can be very powerful. and the little guy can get things done," said Parish.
The drive-thru clinic will be Saturday and Sunday at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette. However, both days are already booked.
Organizers say extras days are being added, and they’re taking names for a waitlist.
To get on the waitlist, contact Lamorinda Village via email: email@example.com.