SAN FRANCISCO - Although San Francisco says it already has one of the highest vaccinations rates for a big city, leaders are making a new push to get those who are still unvaccinated to get their shots.
Even with that high vaccination rate, hospitals are seeing the number of COVID cases skyrocket from 12 cases about a month ago to more than 200 new cases daily. Now health experts are pushing to get more people vaccinated.
With more than 77% of the city's eligible population vaccinated, San Francisco political and health leaders are coming together to push for the remaining unvaccinated population to get immunized against COVID-19.
Using music to catch the attention of passers by, volunteers from Vax to the Max took to the streets talking with those who are hesitant, urging them to get vaccinated.
"We're just here trying to encourage them to, if not get the shot, at least find out the facts about it before saying just 'I'm not going to do it,'" said Nicole Thomas from Vax to the Max.
The city's Director of Public Health said the surge of the delta variant should be a wake-up call. "This is COVID on steroids. This virus is different than the virus we were dealing with a little bit ago," said Dr. Grant Colfax San Francisco's Director of Public Health. "The difference now between being vaccinated and not being vaccinated could be the difference between sniffles and suffocation."
The city is now saying that it will dispatch mobile vaccination clinics to groups as small as five to 12 people. "We will bring out doctors and nurses and other resources to you," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
The city is also taking the unusual step of allowing those who've received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and are concerned about a breakthrough infection to request a supplemental shot of either Pfizer or Moderna.
"I think the important thing is that right now we don't have conclusive data on additional shots beyond what CDC is recommending," said Dr. Colfax "But, on consultation with infectious disease experts we do believe this is safe and that we will accommodate people if they so request."
San Francisco's Department of Public Health says the move to offer additional vaccine to those who request it is not a change in policy. They say they will accommodate those requests but they still are not aren't recommending boosters at this point.