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February 26, 2021

County to vaccinate all eligible residents, regardless of provider

Officials say new system speeds up process

Santa Clara County Health System will begin providing Covid-19 vaccines to any county resident age 65 or older, regardless of their healthcare provider or insurance.

County officials announced the “no wrong door” system Feb. 4, saying the new method will help get shots into arms more efficiently and hopefully eliminate confusion on where people can get vaccinated.

“The state’s complex vaccine distribution and allocation system, combined with vaccine supply shortages, has led to an uneven vaccine rollout across the county depending on where people get their medical care,” said County Executive Jeff Smith. “The ‘no wrong door’ approach we are implementing is designed to get available vaccines into arms as quickly and equitably as possible in order to save lives.”

The county’s website at sccfreevax.org provides information and links for making vaccine appointments with providers across the county. In addition, residents without internet access or who need additional assistance can make appointments for the County Health System vaccine sites through the Valley Connection Call Center at 408.970.2000. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4:30pm. 

Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages.

Eighty-one percent of Covid-19-related deaths in Santa Clara County have occurred among individuals age 65 or older, according to county health data. 

“Given the limited supply of vaccines and the continuing high rates of Covid-19, we must prioritize vaccinating those at greatest risk of death or serious illness,” said County Health Officer Sara Cody. “We are anxious to vaccinate a much broader segment of the population and are ready to do so as soon as vaccine supplies allow.” 

Health officials noted that plans are underway to expand vaccination capacity at the hardest-hit areas of the county, such as Gilroy and East San Jose.

According to county data, 180,330 first doses of the vaccine and 48,442 second doses have been administered as of Feb. 3. 

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