By Athena Xue
Santa Clara County plans to extend vaccine eligibility to workers in education, child care, food and agriculture and emergency services beginning Feb. 28. These groups will join healthcare workers and those aged 65 and older, who have already been eligible for over eight weeks.
According to Associate Vice Provost Russell Furr, Medical Director Rich Wittman and Strategic Health Initiatives director Rajan Puri, the newly eligible groups are part of California’s Phase 1B for vaccine allocation, which defines those working in education as anyone at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in “colleges, universities, junior colleges, community colleges and other postsecondary education facilities,” Furr wrote in a Thursday email to the community.
Though it is still unclear who exactly will be eligible under these guidelines, the University hopes that they will include “as many members of the Stanford community as possible.”
For those who qualify for vaccinations, appointments are available through healthcare centers, pharmacies and mass-vaccination sites across the county. Stanford Health Care has also been working to secure additional appointments for University employees who are 65 or older.
Citing state and county recommendations for prioritizing vulnerable populations, Furr advised the Stanford community to “consider your risk level as you consider when to seek a vaccination.” Santa Clara County leadership also recently advocated for prioritizing vaccine distribution in areas that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Currently, Stanford Health Care has administered over 83,000 doses to healthcare workers and those aged 65 and older, according to data from the Stanford School of Medicine. The University does not have its own supply of vaccines, but Furr wrote that Stanford’s vaccine governance committees are “assessing how best to support the Stanford community as vaccines become more available” and looking into other vaccination opportunities that may be available for the Stanford community specifically.
This article has been updated to reflect that Stanford University does not have its own supply of vaccines because the University does not administer vaccines to healthcare workers or patients of Stanford Health Care; however, Stanford Health Care has administered over 83,000 doses to healthcare workers and those aged 65 and older.