—Photo by Tarmo Hannula

Beginning Feb. 28, workers in education, childcare, emergency services, and the food and agriculture industries will be eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Santa Clara County.

County officials announced the expanded eligibility Feb. 17 after citing strong progress toward vaccinating the current group of eligible residents, which include healthcare workers and those age 65 or older.

According to Public Health Officer Sara Cody, the Santa Clara County Health System is currently scheduling nearly 10,000 vaccination appointments at sites across the county daily, in addition to several vaccination sites now operating in both Gilroy and East San Jose that do not require an appointment.

More than half of county residents age 75 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Cody said, and soon half of those 65 and older will have received at least one dose.

“As we make progress toward our goal of vaccinating at least 85 percent of our residents age 16 or older by this summer, we are laser focused on ensuring equitable access to vaccinations for those communities most disproportionately affected by Covid-19,” she said.

Vaccine supply remains a challenge, but Cody said the county’s allocation from the state has been “slowly increasing” each week.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Feb. 16 that many counties in California could move from the Purple Tier of the state’s Covid-19 reopening guidance to the slightly less restrictive Red Tier in the coming weeks, based on falling case rates and hospitalizations.

Cody said Santa Clara County is “trending in the right direction,” but it is unknown when it will qualify to move up the tiers.

“We’re doing much better, and we’re coming out of a very difficult time,” she said.

For information on vaccination sites and to schedule an appointment, visit sccfreevax.org.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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