Vaccines were set to be given to 45 senior residents and 95 staff members at St. Paul’s Senior Services.
Vaccines were set to be given to 45 senior residents and 95 staff members at St. Paul’s Senior Services. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego residents aged 65 and older are the next priority group for COVID-19 vaccinations, but only a few healthcare providers have vaccine available at this time, county health officials said Friday.

Currently, the only people who are being vaccinated are approximately 620,000 healthcare professionals and residents of long-term care facilities in Phase 1A.

Vaccinations for another 600,000 people in Phase 1B, which includes those 65 and up, will begin to be available later this month, provided there are sufficient doses available.

“We understand older San Diegans want to get vaccinated, but right now there is a very limited number of doses for people 65 and older,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, the county’s medical director of epidemiology and immunization services. “We’re asking San Diegans to be patient, more vaccine is expected in the region soon.”

Nearly 30 million doses of vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer have been released to U.S. states, which have used only about one-third of them.

California, like many states, has struggled to use up as much vaccine as it received in initial allotments, administering only about a third of the nearly 2.5 million doses shipped to the state as of Monday.

Newsom has set a goal of inoculating 1 million more Californians by the end of this week with the first shot of the two-dose vaccines.

Officials with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said that when local sites begin vaccinating San Diegans 65 years and older, the public will be informed by the media and the county’s COVID-19 website.

The “vaccination super station” that opened at Petco Park on Monday is currently open only to healthcare workers and requires an appointment. It is capable of vaccinating 5,000 people a day.

Starting in February, the County plans to open three more super stations in other parts of the region. People in Phase 1B are expected to be able to start making appointments in late January.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.