San Francisco’s Covid Vaccine Plan Faces Shortage, Mayor Says

San Francisco’s goal of vaccinating all residents against the coronavirus by June hinges on getting enough shots, which are currently in short supply, Mayor London Breed said.

“The biggest challenge we have right now is the number of vaccines that we have not received,” Breed said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The city can inoculate residents at a rate of at least 10,000 doses per day once the supply arrives, she said, citing efforts by large vaccination sites and partnerships with CVS Health Corp., Safeway Inc., and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

San Francisco’s Covid Vaccine Plan Faces Shortage, Mayor Says

The city has received 100,000 doses of the vaccine so far, a quarter of what’s needed just for the elderly in its health-care networks, Breed said. Seniors 65 and over are currently eligible, but there may be a “long waiting period,” according to the city government’s website. The vaccine is expected to be available to everyone by year-end, it says, a less ambitious goal than the June target announced by city officials this week.

Other regions are similarly strapped. The state of New York will run out of vaccines on Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Earlier this week, New York City rescheduled 23,000 vaccine appointments due to a delay in shipments. Across the U.S., about 18.4 million shots have been given, according to a tally by Bloomberg News, falling short of federal projections.

Meanwhile, San Francisco is on track to ease its Covid-19 lockdown and “hopefully” some businesses will be allowed to reopen in February as new virus cases start to decline, Breed said.

The closures, as well as the loss of city residents who fled during the pandemic, have weighed on the city’s economy. San Francisco expects to see budget shortfalls reaching $503 million in five years. Officials said last week that it’s unclear if high-wage workers will return to the technology hub after the pandemic.

Breed said the city is working on retaining businesses and making sure companies know “they’re welcomed here” after several Silicon Valley companies -- including Oracle Corp., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and Palantir Technologies Inc. -- announced plans to leave California.

Statewide, the unemployment rate rose by 0.9 percentage point to 9% in December, the first increase since April, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. The unemployment rate was 3.9% in December 2019.

The economic downturn ignited a recall effort targeting California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. Breed said she’s against the recall and is working closely with Newsom on pandemic control.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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