Marin County to vaccinate those 65 and older, but appointments tough to get

Marin County on Monday will allow more people to be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as the Public Health Department is opening up vaccinations for people 65 and older.

But despite the eligibility, doesn't mean that people in the age group will be able to find a vaccine right away.

Health officials warn that it could take several weeks for people in this new tier to be able to schedule their vaccine.

That's because of a limited supply of doses, and a backlog as health care providers work to continue vaccinating people 75 and older.

"We have the infrastructure, we have the doctors, the clinics, the syringes - everyone is eager and ready to go. It's just a matter of the doses themselves," said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.

Since the pandemic began more than 90 percent of COVID deaths in Marin County have been people older than 65.

So far, 36,000 Marin County residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

There are several different places to get a vaccine in the county. When checking the county's website to connect to those vaccine appointments shows that CVS, Rite Aid and Safeway pharmacies are reporting all their vaccine appointments full for this coming week.

Kaiser is still working on people 75 and older.

Marin County residents 65 and older are allowed to schedule appointments at two state-run vaccination sites at Moscone Center and the Oakland Coliseum.

But the Moscone Center site in San Francisco is experiencing a shortage in supply.

When asked when vaccine supply may stabilize, Willis said: "That's the million-dollar question. We are hearing that the Biden Administration has purchased more doses, we're hearing they've identified some logistical log-jams that might bring more doses into states and local jurisdictions. We're eager to see that manifest because right now, our experience is one of scarcity and limitations.

Willis said state public health officials are encouraging counties to link appointments at their county vaccination sites to the California site. Willis said that should make the process of finding open appointments more centralized, and simpler.

"Across the state, more and more clinics will be available through MyTurn, so I would expect, a month from now, it'll be a much easier process for everyone to find appointments," Willis said.

Marin County public health put together a webpage with links to make appointments from all the different providers in the county.

The county finds out on Wednesdays how many vaccine doses it will receive the following week.

Thursdays are the best time to check for new appointments in Marin County.

"As soon as we find out on Wednesdays how much we're getting the following week, we open up appointments, and they fill instantly," Willis said.

Marin County public health put together a webpage with links to make appointments from all the different providers in the county.