San Mateo County has received 22,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination so far. How many have made it into residents’ arms? That is less clear.
County Public Information Officer Preston Merchant said the county will be gathering and publishing data on vaccine distribution but doesn’t currently have the number of county residents vaccinated so far.
“We won't have that snapshot for a few more weeks,” Merchant said.
The reason for the lag in data is that each individual entity distributing the vaccine is recording its own metrics, meaning each tool will need to be synced up at the state level before any meaningful data can emerge locally, Merchant said. Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that around 454,000 of the state’s 1.3 million doses have been administered so far. But a California Department of Health representative was unable to provide any county-by-county distribution data, saying “a broader vaccine dashboard is still under development.”
So, too, is San Mateo County’s own vaccination dashboard. Its website says the county plans to track and share five metrics, including the number of vaccines distributed, the demographics of those receiving shots, the number of vaccination clinics and the number of unused doses.
Some insights into distribution can be gleaned from individual hospital reports, however. On Sunday, Seton Medical Center CEO Tony Armada said 900 doses had been distributed at the Daly City hospital. And Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, which operates two hospitals in the county and many others regionally, reported vaccinating more than 37,000 health care workers across its network to date. San Mateo County helped distribute around 1,200 vaccines to first responders last week.
The complexity of data collection is also a logistics challenge for hospitals administering the vaccines, Merchant said. In an email update to county health partners, County Health Chief Louise Rogers noted that hospitals are now juggling vaccination distribution and reporting, all amid a record influx of COVID-19 patients.
“Reporting back on the vaccination accomplished by these entities is evolving as they each balance their multiple reporting responsibilities at the same time the hospital entities are also very focused on the current surge in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients,” Rogers wrote.