Vaccination clinics in Napa County suspended due to supply shortage

Napa has becomes the latest Bay Area county forced to suspend vaccination clinics due to shortages. 

Second doses will be the priority until supplies improve, frustrating the public and elected leaders. 

"We had to have very unfortunate conversations with our community that their appointment was being canceled," said Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza. "We're asking people to remain patient, we know vaccines are the way out of this pandemic."

Napa County has managed 24,000 vaccinations so far.

A total of 46,000 more people have expressed interest and are waiting.

The Public Health Department and its community partners are prepared to administer up to 13,000 vaccinations a week if they had inventory. 

But Wednesday, the largest site at Napa Expo was only open for a few hours, administering booster shots only.

It will stay that way until further notice. 

"We continue to ask, where are the doses?" said Pedroza. "Is anyone holding onto vaccines they shouldn't be, is it a supply-chain or manufacturing issue? Those are the questions our community members have and we are desperately asking."  

It seems to be a mystery, even in Congress.   

"Some of this vaccine was purchased at great cost and yet it's very hard to figure out where the heck it is right now," said U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, (D- San Rafael.)

Wednesday, Huffman hosted an online town hall focused on vaccine issues. 

He expects the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help, along with improved coordination and communication among agencies. 

Huffman notes that reforms from the new Biden administration have only been rolling out for two weeks.  

"It is still going to take a while to fix the supply shortage that is causing so much frustration and confusion right now," he said. 

Among the participants in his forum was the Associate Chief Medical Officer for the San Francisco VA.

"We're given a total of 500 doses a week here," said Dr. Heather Nye, who explained that federal sites also receive vaccines in a "hit and miss" fashion.

The sprawling medical center has managed to get only 2,000 veterans vaccinated, after protecting frontline staff first.     

"We could be vaccinating 2,000 veterans a week between all of our sites," said Nye, "but we just need doses. The programs are built and ready."   

That is the disappointment for everyone downstream who met the challenge: mobilized space, staff and systems.

Expectations went up, then came crashing down.

"When we tell people better days are ahead and hope is here, we need to also be able to tell them how long they must wait for new inventory," said Pedroza. "We need to be open and transparent so people continue to be patient and understanding."

Debora Villalon is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Debora at and follow her on Twitter@DeboraKTVU