VALLEJO, Calif. - The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services on Monday sent out an urgent plea to the state to allocate more vaccine because of a steep decline.
"The lack of adequate supply has caused us to pause scheduling many first-dose mass-vaccination clinics, drastically slowing our effort to target and vaccinate our most vulnerable populations," Health Officer Dr. Beta Matyas said in a statement.
Over the past two weeks, Solano County’s vaccine allocation from the California Health Department has been the third-lowest for allocation per 1,000 residents of all 58 California counties. While Solano County has already administered 134,000 vaccines to date, the new allocations of available doses have dropped by 60 percent, the county said in a press release.
Solano County, also, is believed to be the first Bay Area county to allow people 50 and older to get vaccinated, while other counties limited eligibility to those 65 and older, or 75 and older. Contra Costa County is now also going to allow people 50 years and older to get vaccinated.
But health officers in Solano County say they are receiving substantially less vaccine allocation than all other similar-sized counties, many of which have higher median household incomes, the health department pointed out.
Monterey County – the county California uses to compare with Solano County based on population and demographics – has received 17,100, or 59.4 percent, more allocation of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine than Solano County in the past five weeks, according to the health department.
The disparity is leading local leaders to take action.
"We want to continue getting these critically needed vaccines in people’s arms," Board of Supervisors Chair John M. Vasquez said in a statement. "We have the partnerships, infrastructure and demand, we just don’t have the vaccine that we need. My colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors will be making phone calls and sending a letter to the Governor’s Office and our elected representatives, urging them to help us secure more vaccine."
Solano County isn't the only area facing a shortage of vaccine.
The LA Times reported that Los Angeles County is also experiencing a similar situation. And just last week, Santa Clara County officials canceled vaccination appointments for thousands of Kaiser Permanente members blaming limited supplies from the state.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that there will be enough vaccine for the Golden State in the next few weeks and that in about 5 1/2 weeks, everyone in the state will be eligible to get out.