‘Long road ahead’: San Francisco begins vaccinations amid ongoing COVID-19 surge

A woman wearing a mask walks under a sign for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center in San Francisco.
A woman walks by Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital in San Francisco, where the first COVID-19 vaccination was given to Dr. Antonio Gomez, medical director of critical care there.
(Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

San Francisco began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline healthcare workers Tuesday, distributing a first batch of 12,675 doses to hospitals across the city.

The doses are being allocated based on the percentage of healthcare workers at each hospital and the number of COVID-19 patients the facilities serve. Each hospital is responsible for identifying the individuals who should get the vaccine first in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

“We are embarking on a vaccine distribution effort unlike anything this country or San Francisco has ever seen,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco’s director of public health. “While this is a significant moment that we should celebrate, we have a long road ahead of us.”


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Dec. 15, 2020

The first vaccine in San Francisco went to Dr. Antonio Gomez, medical director of critical care at the public Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. The second went to Phung Nguyen, a registered nurse in intensive care at the hospital.

San Francisco is experiencing a major surge of the coronavirus and has been under a regional stay-at-home order since Dec. 6.

Mayor London Breed called the vaccine “good news” after a tough year but warned residents to remain cautious.

“This virus is still in our community, and we must remain just as vigilant — taking care to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, keep our distance, wash our hands frequently, and avoid gatherings,” Breed said.