Two out of five San Francisco residents over the age of 16 have now had both COVID vaccinations — or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And as of Thursday, a full two-thirds of city residents over 16 (67%, or about 514,000 people) have received at least one shot in the arm of a two-dose vaccine.
Hopefully, unlike in the rest of this godforsaken nation, San Francisco will continue to be a nexus of high vaccine demand, as these vaccination numbers are making it looks like herd immunity could be very near in our future — at least theoretically in the seven-by-seven, and not considering that hundreds of thousands of people commute into the city to work from elsewhere in the Bay Area, though fewer than in the before times.
Vaccine appointments at the Moscone Center have never been easier to get. The city's Department of Public Health announced yesterday that 6,000 new appointments had just become available, and a quick check as of Friday afternoon on MyTurn shows dozens of time slots available for next week, on April 28, 29, and 30. These are for the Pfizer vaccine only, and for residents age 16 and over.
As the New York Times reported Friday, some counties across the country are starting to shut down mass-vaccination sites as demand has fallen off a cliff. Volunteers are standing around with nothing to do, officials say, and they now need to pivot their public-health approach to reach more vulnerable and vaccine-reluctant populations in smaller community settings. The White House is referring to this phase as a "ground game," much like a get-out-the-vote campaign.
Earlier this week, Napa County officials said there were thousands of appointments available at its mass-vaccine site at Meritage Resort and Spa, and demand had slowed significantly just since last week.
Places like Texas, a stronghold of both Republicanism and toxic machismo, have only reached a dismal 20% vaccinated as it becomes clear that red states have an uphill battle in convincing some male Trump voters and others to get a fucking vaccine. The New York Times reported on the male-female divide on vaccine demand, which they reflect both the fact that more women hold jobs where early vaccinations where often required, and the "long standing patterns of women embracing preventive care more often generally than men."
But these fools don't seem to understand that their stubborn individualism is exactly what a virus thrives on. The inability to embrace a collective good like herd immunity and everyone's role in that is, unfortunately, a hallmark of Republican politics in general. Plus there's that prick who was in the White House who spent nine months downplaying the virus threat, even after he got it and became briefly very ill.
Dr. Philip Keiser, the health officer for Galveston County, Texas, tells the Times this week that the county is feeling over-supplied, and he's afraid of having vaccine doses expiring in freezers if they keep receiving them and people keep not getting shots.
"We are trying to figure out how to balance out supply and demand, yet also have enough on hand so that when school kids are able to get back, we can do them," Keiser tells the paper. "We got about 50 percent of our people vaccinated, and we recognize that next 25 percent is going to be a lot harder than the first."
Photo: Brock Keeling