Demand for vaccines is clearly high in San Francisco. And with appointments nearly impossible to find a few days ahead of the statewide expansion of eligibility to everyone age 16 and up, the possibility of a quick and easy drop-in vaccine brought out thousands of people on Saturday, most of whom went home disappointed.
On Friday, the city's Department of Public Health made a surprise announcement that everyone who was 16 or older who lived in one of eight prioritized zip codes could line up for a vaccination shot at either Zuckerberg SF General Hospital or the Southeast Health Center on Keith Street in the Bayview, without an appointment. And on Saturday, around 6,000 San Franciscans came to SF General, as ABC 7 reports, seeking a shot.
"The line for this vaccine clinic was epic," says reporter Cornell Barnard. "It zigzagged and stretched all the way down the block."
"We had 6,000 people show up before 9 a.m.," said SF General Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lukejohn Day.
But the site is only equipped to administer 2,000 shots per day, so around 4,000 people had to be turned away. Many were likely back in line by 8 a.m. Sunday, with the promise of 2,000 shots every day, seven days a week, no appointments needed between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. You just need to be a resident in one of these zip codes: 94124, 94134, 94107, 94112, 94110, 94102, 94103, and 94130.
One of those people who showed up Saturday, Blake West, tells ABC 7, "I'm surprised, I had friends scouting this out, they said the best time to come is late. I guess they were wrong."
The Department of Public Health tweeted on Sunday morning that around 1,400 people got their first doses on Saturday at the two drop-in sites.
2/3 The drop-in sites are open daily from 9am to 3pm for those in eligible zip codes: 94124, 94134, 94112, 94110, 94107, 94102, 94103, & 94130.— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) April 11, 2021
The line is cut off when capacity is reached so that no one is waiting unnecessarily.
We expect another busy day today!
The San Francisco Bay Area ranks with Seattle as the two metro areas with the highest level of vaccine demand in the country and the least amount of vaccine hesitancy, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Census. And with the MyTurn.gov site buggy as hell and Moscone Center appointments disappearing in minutes if they appear at all, it's understandable why the drop-in site is seeing such turnout.
Officials say the line will be cut off when capacity is reached each day.