Contra Costa County reaches vaccine milestone, more than 800,000 residents vaccinated

On Friday, Contra Costa County surpassed a new vaccine benchmark: 803,000 doses administered. Approximately a third of the county's residents are fully vaccinated, and more than half are partially vaccinated.

Appointments are still widely available, according to Ori Tzvieli, Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer and COVID Response Operations Chief.

Part of Contra Costa County's success in the vaccine rollout is in large part due to the smooth management of the health services website. 

"We have a wonderful IT team that's really taking all those interest forms and turning them into scheduling tickets very rapidly. We've hired a huge number of people to staff all these vaccine sites," Tzvieli said.

Starting next week, Contra Costa County will partner with Alameda County and the California Office of Emergency Services to administer vaccines to more residents of both counties at the Oakland Coliseum, previously managed by FEMA.

In the South Bay, booking a vaccine through the county is a different story.

29-year-old Neil Pomerleau of Santa Clara County has found few available appointments for him to schedule his second dose this week on the county website, even though residents age 16 and older are newly eligible.

"I looked at the Santa Clara County vaccine booking site a few times, and it seemed like they generally don't have availability," Pomerleau said. "The impression I get is that supply is really limited."

So he's planning a return trip to Tulare, three and a half hours away. That's where he got his first dose on April 2, because there was an abundance of vaccine supply.

"If anything, going out to Tulare and you know, ss someone who is able to that drive and able to take the time off to do that," Pomerleau said, "I feel like I'm actually even saving an appointment for someone locally who can't make that drive."