Sacramento mayor, health officials encourage residents to seek vaccine appointments despite limited supplies

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Starting Thursday, all Californians ages 50 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, local health officials warn supplies of the vaccine continue to be limited.

“I have to now reveal to you publicly that I am over 50 years old,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, eliciting some laughs.

Mayor Steinberg went to the WellSpace Health clinic on Alhambra Boulevard to get his single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in front of the media in order to encourage others to also get the shot.

The mayor said his shot was painless.

“My arm is fine, by the way,” he said. “It was not a big deal. It was great.”

“It’s important to get vaccinated, and it’s also important to keep the protocols, the masking, the physical distancing, even after you get vaccinated,” he continued.

But Sacramento County health officials warn there is still not enough of the vaccine to get to everyone in that age group.

For its provider network, Sacramento County expects to receive 33,000 doses per week for the next few weeks.

“That we still have a limited number of doses, so they have to be patient,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye.

But, Dr. Kasirye said, if you’re eligible, you should be trying to get an appointment.

The county has a website where people can go to get the best information on how to do that.

“The reason that we are promoting our website is that we’re getting links from all of our other providers and putting them in one place,” Dr. Kasirye explained. “So that’s one place that people can go and check and see if there are any appointments available.”

Those without the internet can dial 211 on their phone.

Meanwhile, WellSpace Health said it is working to reach those who are more at risk but have fewer means.

“We do focus on serving Medi-Cal, the uninsured,” said WellSpace Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janine Bera. “However, we don’t turn any patients away.”

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