S.F. Teachers and grocery store workers, now eligible for vaccinations, may still have to wait weeks

As San Francisco moves to expand vaccination qualifications Wednesday to 168,000 teachers, grocery store employees and emergency responders who live or work in the city, some feel they may not get their first dose shot for another two or three weeks.

This is because, like many health departments and providers across the state, San Francisco is preferring second dose shots. That means they’re giving a second shot to people who got their first shot a few weeks ago, and will delay appointments for the first shot until more vaccines arrive. Both vaccines currently available in the United States, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are given in two shots, except for 21 or 28 days.

About 91,000 San Franciscons are due to receive their second dose in the next two to three weeks, according to the Department of Public Health. The San Francisco project projects that over the next two weeks, the number of first dose appointments will decrease significantly compared to the last two weeks.

High-volume vaccination sites receiving vaccine supplies from regional health care providers similarly delay first-dose appointments until a new influx of vaccines arrives. The vaccination site at Sin College College Ledge, operated by San Francisco and UCSF, is doing only a second dose this week except Thursday, UCSF spokeswoman Kristen Bole said. There will also be only a second dose next week until UCSF receives an additional vaccine.

Sutter Health is postponing first-dose appointments at all of its large-scale Northern California vaccination sites, including the SF Market in Bayview, due to a shortage of vaccines. “Appointments will reopen as soon as more vaccines are made available to us,” Sutter spokesman Monique Binkle-Smith said.