San Rafael, CA – Marin County Public Health and healthcare providers have committed to focusing vaccination efforts across the county for residents age 75 and older, in a joint strategy designed to save lives.
Over the past month, local interest in the COVID-19 vaccine has grown large, which bodes well for turning the pandemic tide in Marin County. Now, health officials are taking a coordinated step forward in how best to allocate a still-limited supply of the shots to those most vulnerable to hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
Marin County’s approximately 25,000 residents who are age 75 or above will be prioritized for available vaccine supplies. In parallel with this effort, vaccination of any remaining Phase 1A-eligible healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities will continue.
“With limited supply and no sign of any significant increase in the near future, this prioritization is the right move for Marin,”
said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin’s Public Health Officer. “Three out of four COVID-19 deaths in Marin are among our residents 75 years or older. A vaccine offered a resident above age 75 is more than 300 times more likely to save a life than a vaccine offered to someone under age 50.”
Vaccine supply determines the pace at which residents can be vaccinated. Marin’s healthcare network receives just a few thousand doses each week. Local health leaders continue to advocate for increased doses and aim to vaccinate most of Marin’s vulnerable elders by the end of February.
Marin County Public Health is working closely with MarinHealth, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter, Marin County fire agencies, Marin Medical Reserve Corps, and other community partners to provide coordinated vaccine distribution across Marin. This includes hosting mass vaccination Points of Dispensing (POD), where hundreds of people can be vaccinated in a short amount of time. An overview of current operations for all healthcare vaccination dispensing sites can be found online and more vaccine providers are expected to come online in the weeks ahead.
While the California Department of Public Health’s Phase 1B prescribes vaccines for a larger group based on age or occupation, the State allows local jurisdictions to prioritize within tiers based on available supply. At the top of the State’s list of recommended sub-prioritizations is the 75 and older age group because of the increased risk of mortality or other severe outcomes.
Any existing vaccination clinics targeting other groups within Phase 1B of the state’s framework are permitted to continue through the end of the week. For Marin County Public Health, that includes vaccine opportunities for childcare workers, which are scheduled daily this week through Saturday.
To date, approximately 11,145 Marin County residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, in addition to thousands more Marin County -based healthcare workers who live in other counties but help care for Marin residents.
To help Marin residents track when they may be eligible to receive a vaccine, the County is launching a new online interest form. Residents can answer a few questions to be subscribed to receive email or text message notifications when their turn has arrived and how to pursue a vaccine appointment. The form is available in English and Spanish on Marin County Public Health’s vaccine webpage.
Everything a resident needs to know about the vaccination process can be read on coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccine, including frequently asked questions, myths versus facts, etc. Stay informed of progress by subscribing to Public Health’s daily status updates. The emails contain information on vaccine progress, announcements of when new vaccination phases open, and other relevant COVID-19 information.