COVID-19 vaccine is here, but supply is low

The vaccine is one of the most important ways to end the pandemic. But supplies are limited.

The vaccine is expected to be available to everyone by the end of 2021. It will be available at doctor's and dental offices, clinics, pharmacies, or high-volume and community sites.

When it's your turn, step up for your health, the health of your loved ones, and of your community. The vaccine and other public health measures, like masks and physical distancing, will slow the spread of COVID-19.

What you need to know

Who can get the vaccine now?

People eligible for the vaccine now are healthcare workers and those 65 years and older.

 

Due to limited supply, the state has created a prioritization plan for who gets the vaccine and when. It’s based on the risk of getting COVID-19.

 

First, in Phase 1a, are frontline healthcare workers. They include doctors, nurses, paramedics, service workers, as well as long-term care residents. See your vaccination options if you’re a healthcare worker who lives or works in SF.

 

People who are 65 and over can also get the vaccine. Contact your healthcare provider. A healthcare provider may include a doctor, nurse, or clinic you visit to get healthcare.

When can I get the vaccine?

The vaccine remains in very limited supply. Even if you are eligible, there may not be a dose available right now.

 

The general public will likely not have access to the vaccine until later in 2021, when there is more vaccine.

 

When it's your turn, step up for your health, the health of your loved ones, and of your community.

Where can I get the vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available at doctor's and dental offices, clinics, pharmacies, or high-volume and community sites.

 

Most people will receive the vaccine from their healthcare provider. We are working with healthcare providers to set up high volume sites.

 

We are also bringing vaccination sites to neighborhoods most impacted by the virus.

How do vaccines work?

Current vaccines require people to get 2 doses, roughly 3 to 4 weeks apart.

 

You must get your second dose at the same location as the first. 

 

The vaccine teaches our cells to make harmless proteins that look like the virus.  Your immune system recognizes that this protein does not belong, and builds an immune response to get rid of it.

 

Your immune system can then fight the real virus if you are exposed later.

 

Learn more about mRNA vaccines from the CDC.

How are the vaccines approved?

More than 70,000 people of different ages, races, ethnicities, and medical conditions participated in clinical trials to make sure the vaccines meet safety standards and offer the protections we need.

 

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews all data before recommending any COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

Vaccines have a long history of safety and effectiveness. While COVID-19 vaccine is being scaled up as quickly as possible,  procedures are in place to ensure safety.

Do I still have to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

Yes! It will take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine to get one. You would also need to get 2 doses of the current vaccines to be fully protected. It will still take a few weeks to build full immunity.

 

Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. 

 

Until more is understood, keep protecting yourself and others. Keep wearing your mask and staying 6 feet apart.

 

Stay healthy during the pandemic.

State vaccination rollout

Who can get the vaccine now

While the vaccine supply is limited, the state has established a priority plan broken down into phases. 

Frontline healthcare workers

More than 90,000 people in San Francisco are in Phase 1a, which includes frontline healthcare workers. See CDPH Allocation Guidelines for Phase 1a.

See your vaccination options if you’re a healthcare worker who lives or works in SF.

 

People 65 years and older

People who are 65 and over are now eligible to get vaccinated, but they are officially part of Phase 1b.

Check with your own healthcare provider first. There is limited vaccine supply, and there may be a long waiting period.

They will follow the State priority list if there’s not enough vaccines.

As vaccine supply increases, we will provide more information on who to contact and where you can get it.

 

Kaiser Permanente

For more information, go to Kaiser Permanente’s website.

Who is next for the vaccine

Phase 1b has 2 tiers. You can find updates at the State’s vaccination page.

We expect that mostly primary healthcare providers will vaccinate people in Phase 1b.

Phase 1b

Tier 1

  • People 65 and over (although this group is eligible now)
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:
    • Education
    • Childcare
    • Emergency services
    • Food and agriculture

 

Tier 2

  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:
    • Transportation and logistics
    • Industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services
    • Critical manufacturing
  • Congregate settings with outbreak risk:
    • Incarcerated
    • Homeless
Who is in later phases

The state is still defining who is in future phases. Phase 1c has been defined and we are waiting for Phase 2.

We expect that mostly primary healthcare providers will vaccinate people in Phase 1c.

Phase 1c

  • People 50 to 64 years of age
  • People 16 to 49 years of age, and have an underlying health condition or disability which increases their risk of severe COVID-19
  • Those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:
    • Water and wastewater
    • Defense
    • Energy
    • Chemical and hazardous materials
    • Communications and IT
    • Financial services
    • Government operations or community-based essential function

The state of California is determining who gets the vaccine, when, and how.

More information

Downloadable resources

Watch a ZSFG doctor get the first COVID-19 vaccine in SF

In this video

On December 15, 2020, ZSFG Medical Director of Critical Care Dr. Antonio Gomez became the first person in San Francisco to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Gomez has treated the most critically ill COVID-19 patients.