Santa Rosa, CA – February 19, 2021 – Thanks to a multi-agency effort over the past two months, Sonoma County has now administered more than 100,000 vaccine doses to county residents, resulting in more than one in five residents over the age of 16 having received at least one dose.
Sonoma County supervisors and health officials also announced today that county residents ages 65 and older will now be able to get COVID-19 vaccines at designated County-supported clinics starting on Monday, Feb. 22. The opening of these clinics to this age group is part of an overall vaccine distribution timeline and strategy that county leaders and health officials discussed at a joint news briefing Friday.
As of today, Sonoma County has provided at least one dose of vaccine to 85,889 residents, which represents more than 20 percent of county residents who are eligible for vaccination. In total, the county has administered 107,807 vaccines (53,314 Moderna and 54,493 Pfizer). When compared with the nine California counties closest in population size (five with higher populations and four with smaller), Sonoma County has done more vaccinations on a per-capita basis than any of them, according to data now available from the state. (See table attached.).
These vaccines have been provided through the activation of more than 20 clinics, all supported by the county’s allotment of vaccines and managed by local providers including federally qualified health centers. Tens of thousands of local vaccinations also have been provided by the county’s hospital partners including Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and St. Joseph Health, Northern California.
“This has been a true community-wide effort, and we are very thankful for the partnership of so many of our local health care providers to reach this milestone,” said Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We still have a long way to go, but thanks to the progress and collaboration we are achieving at the local level, it’s clear that we are on the right track. The issue going forward will be supply. Thanks to all of these community efforts, we have a great system in place, but we have the ability to do three times more vaccinations than we are doing now. We just need more vaccines.”
The County began its vaccination rollout by focusing on those age 75 and above as this age group comprises just 10 percent of the population but makes up nearly two-thirds of the deaths that have occurred in Sonoma County since the pandemic began. On Feb. 8, the county shifted to those age 70 and above when the portion of those vaccinated in the 75+ group exceeded 40 percent. The latest data show that more than 42 percent of Sonoma County residents between ages 70 and 74 have now received at least one dose while nearly 60 percent of residents age 75 and above have received either one or two doses.
“We now believe we are at a point where we can open vaccinations up to the wider group of 65 and older, but I want to make clear that this is a very large group so getting an appointment is going to be a challenge for a while. Please be patient,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Health Officer for Sonoma County. “Meanwhile, we understand and support the decision by some health care providers to continue prioritizing those 75 and older for now. These are residents who are most at risk of the worst outcomes of the virus, and we also are going to continue our efforts to reach out to our oldest residents and help them to get appointments.”
County health officials also announced today that essential food workers, including food manufacturing, grocery store and restaurant workers, also will be eligible for vaccinations starting on Monday. This change in prioritization will bring Sonoma County in alignment with California Department of Public Health guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination distribution for those in Phase 1b, Tier 1 of the state Vaccine Distribution Plan.
Where to get a vaccine:
Eligible individuals who are insured are encouraged to first seek a vaccination appointment through their primary health care provider. Those who do not have that option are encouraged to go to one of the following centers based on age group and/or type of employment as an essential worker:
For those age 65 and above, appointments will be available at the following clinics:
● Rohnert Park Community Center, in partnership with OptumServe, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Schedule an appointment at: https://myoptumserve.com/covid19 or call (877) 218-0381
● Any of 11 Safeway pharmacies in Sonoma County. Appointments are required at specific stores. Each pharmacy will have a capacity to do up to 20 Vaccinations will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Monday through Friday. For a complete list of all Safeway stores, go to: socoemergency.org/vaccine
● Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion, in partnership with Safeway, schedule an appointment at: https://mhealthsystem.com/sonomacountypublichealth
● Sonoma Valley High School, in partnership with Sonoma Valley Hospital, schedule an appointment at: https://www.sonomavalleyhospital.org/svhp/
● For information about other clinics in Sonoma County, go to socoemergency.org/vaccine
In addition, teachers and child care workers are being vaccinated by invitation at a clinic through the Sonoma County Office of Education. Agriculture workers are being vaccinated at various clinics through their employers.
Medical or non-medical volunteers seeking to help at a vaccination clinic can find more information about volunteering at SoCoEmergency.org/VaccineVolunteers.
Licensed medical professionals will be asked to sign up to volunteer through California’s Disaster Healthcare Volunteers. Non-medical volunteers are managed by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, and the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County.
For more information including the latest vaccine numbers, who’s eligible for a vaccine and how to receive a vaccine, community members are encouraged to visit SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine, or call 2-1-1.