Santa Clara County to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility Feb. 28

Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County director of public health.

Santa Clara County health officials announced effective Feb. 28, eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expands across the county to education and child care, food and agriculture and emergency service workers.  

Speaking at a Wednesday news conference, Santa Clara County Health Officer and Director of Public Health Dr. Sara Cody said the county is trending in the right direction when it comes to novel coronavirus cases.

She also said the county is making good progress with the phase 1A group currently eligible for the vaccine, which includes health care personnel and long-term care facility residents as well as those who are 65 and up. 

More than 50% of those who are 75 and up have received their first vaccination dose so far and nearly 50% of those who are 65 and up have had their first dose, Cody said. 

Cody reiterated the goal is to vaccinate 85% of the eligible Santa Clara County population, including those who are 16 and up, by summer.

"Our [vaccine] supply has been slowly increasing each week," she said. She did acknowledge vaccine supply remains inconsistent and unpredictable since the county is not given an estimated amount of what they will receive. "We hear each week what our allocation will be from the state and then we plan accordingly."

She did not indicate when the county would achieve red-tier status and said that it was difficult to know with "many variables in the mix."

"New variants are circulating and it’s difficult to say how that may impact the case rates" Cody said. 

As far as the expanded eligibility to Phase 1B tier 1; the health director said the county will be following the State of California general definitions and guidelines for who is eligible from those sectors. 

Door-to-door vaccination outreach continues throughout the county to ensure vaccine access equity. County health officials are providing outreach to businesses with eligible workers, and through community-based organizations in the hardest hit communities. The county is providing this outreach in multiple languages. 

The county now has community vaccination sites in East San José and Gilroy that do not require an appointment.

A 211 health and human services number is available for those who do not have internet access so they can find information about how to schedule their vaccination appointment.