SF's mass vaccination sites temporarily suspended due to lack of doses

San Francisco has suspended operations of its mass vaccination sites because there simply aren't enough doses to go around.

The sites that just opened up at City College of San Francisco and Moscone Center are suspended until they can get more vaccine. Those sites can vaccinate more than 10,000 people per day if they have enough vaccine on hand, However, that's the ongoing problem; not enough vaccine coming in from state and federal sources.

The city's Director of Emergency Management said the problem is an ongoing lack of vaccine and unreliable supply chains.

"We have been experiencing intermittent and not consistent allocation of vaccine," said Mary Ellen Carroll from San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management. "It also is unpredictable, so we don't necessarily know what we will get week to week."

The City College site is tentatively set to resume vaccinations Friday for second doses only. The Moscone high volume site is expected to be shuttered until next week. "What we anticipate is this situation of starting and stopping could continue potentially through the end of April," said Carroll.

The city's Department of Emergency Management stressed that although the city run vaccination programs are suspended, private medical providers still have vaccine on hand.

Roughly 2/3 of vaccine is distributed through health care providers who are reporting the same kinds of supply chain issues. The University of California San Francisco released a statement saying it has enough vaccine on hand for first doses for its on-site essential workers and patients 65 years and older.

But "even with our expected deliveries this week... And a greatly reduced appointment schedule, we anticipate running completely out of vaccines by Saturday."     

San Francisco political leaders are saying they need a more reliable supply chain.

"I really hope that we get some consistency, from the state and federal government," said Matt Haney, San Francisco District 6 Supervisor. "The White House had announced that that they were going to give three weeks notice to the local and state jurisdictions so that we could plan ahead. We need that three week notice."

The city is continuing to administer vaccine at community clinics, but the lack of vaccine is hampering the city's mass vaccination sites.

Health experts continue to wait on the emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which should add 100 million doses to the vaccine pool in the first half of this year.