A nurse readies a shirtless man's arm for a Covid-19 vaccine.
San Francisco resident receives a dose of the vaccine at a community clinic in the Mission. Photo by Clara-Sophia Daly. Photo June, 2021.

Some 80 percent of San Francisco residents have had at least a first shot of the coronavirus vaccine, and 70 percent are fully vaccinated, according to Mayor London Breed. 

San Francisco is the first major city in the United States with such a high percentage of its residents fully vaccinated.  

The success can be attributed in part to the work of community health organizations such as the Latino Task Force, which has been advocating for data-driven outreach, testing, and vaccination in low-income communities where infection rates were higher throughout the pandemic. 

As it has been throughout the pandemic, the southeast sector of the city remains the most impactedWe reported today, “Between May 8 and June 7, DPH reported 39 new cases in the Mission, or a rate of 6.54 new cases per 10,000 residents. Bayview Hunters Point remains the city’s hottest Covid spot, with 66 new cases or 17.65 new cases per 10,000 residents. Only 5 city neighborhoods report more than 20 cases per 10,000 residents, all in the southeast sector. The citywide rate was 4.95 new cases per 10,000 residents.

This is despite vaccination rates of over 60 percent in all by the Black community. All of the neighborhoods except LoneMontain/USF, Presidio, Treasure Island, and Lakeshore have vaccination rates over 60 percent. 

It is possible that higher infection rates in the Latinx and Black communities can be explained by crowded living conditions, which make it easier for infected residents to pass on the virus. 

Charts are from the Department of Public Health.

Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of the Department of Emergency Management, said that “while there is still an urgency for San Franciscans to continue to do their part in keeping this city safe, we should pause to celebrate the hard work that so many put in to ensure we arrived to meet this moment.”

“It’s remarkable to think that our tiny little city has been able to achieve that,” said Jon Jacobo, one of the leaders at the Latino Task Force who has been advocating for the Latino community during the pandemic. 

“But it isn’t because of some direct miraculous kind of leadership at the top,” he said. It is the work of community organizations that have pushed to educate, test, support, and vaccinate at-risk communities during the pandemic.

The success in vaccinations means that, on June 15, the city will close its largest testing site at the Embarcadero.  Residents with symptoms will be encouraged to get tested at low-barrier community access points and mobile testing sites. 

At present, San Francisco collects 3,100 covid tests a day, which is a 67 percent reduction since December, 2020. 

Having sites available and easily accessible, and sequencing the tests, will be crucial in ensuring that there is not a third wave and in planning for the future, according to Jacobo. 

“In three weeks, when 80 percent of people are fully vaccinated, I am going to celebrate,” said Jacobo, who is planning to continue working to ensure the Latino community has access to healthcare, a primary care physician, and preventative testing for things such as HIV and Diabetes, once the pandemic is under control. 

The Public Health Department encourages those eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that San Francisco and the entire Bay Area can continue to safely reopen. 

Appointments and drop-in opportunities are available throughout the City, including at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, several health centers, and pharmacies; and at Moscone South, where hours have been expanded to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day for drop-in appointments. 

Click here for additional information, appointments, and more vaccination sites, or call (628) 652-2700.

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Clara-Sophia Daly is a multimedia storyteller and reporter who has worked both in print and audio. A graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs and Media/Film studies, she enjoys working at the intersection of art and politics, and focusing on the stories of individuals to reveal larger themes.

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  1. FWIW, the headline and stat are incorrect. It’s not 80% of residents, it’s 80% of *eligible* residents. That’s a super important distinction, and one that I wish Mission Local would get right, given the extensive vaccine coverage. The virus doesn’t care about eligibility, and herd immunity is dependent on the *whole population’s* immunity, not just those eligible.