Experts advise on signing up as CA expands vaccine eligibility

With limited vaccine supply on top of a huge influx of eligibility, there is concern about increased waits and frustration when it comes to getting vaccinated, a process that has already proved very challenging.

Video Transcript

- You will get vaccinated it just might take a little bit longer than anticipated.

KATE LARSEN: San Francisco Deputy Director of Health Dr. Naveena Bobba says while eligibility is opening to everyone 16 and older on Thursday it may take weeks to get appointments because of supply constraints. She says right now most of the supply is going to pharmacies and federally-qualified health centers while San Francisco is still working to equitably distribute the vaccine in the hardest hit zip codes. Dr. Bobba also says they're trying to ensure families of 16 and 17-year-olds who want the vaccine know where they can get Pfizer since that is the only vaccine that is FDA emergency-use authorized for those ages.

She also says DPH does not recommend people travel outside the Bay Area to get vaccinated.

NAVEENA BOBBA: The other reason, particularly, to not travel is that wherever you get your first dose you need to go back to get your second dose. They are getting allocations based on who they gave the first dose to.

LEE NEVO LAMPREY: Set your expectations that you will not probably get your first appointment that you try to sign up for.

KATE LARSEN: After helping Bay Area families secure appointments, Bay Area mom Lee Nevo Lamprey decided to launch a website dedicated to helping people navigate vaccines sign ups. She also helps run the Bay Area Vaccine Hunter's Facebook group and advises, which provides nationwide vaccine appointment assistance. Her first piece of advice--

LEE NEVO LAMPREY: Don't get discouraged. Keep trying.

KATE LARSEN: Lee says to sign up for county notifications, keep your insurance info handy, and team up with family and friends to find appointments. Lee also hopes that people will follow her lead and help someone who's struggling.

LEE NEVO LAMPREY: When other people are protected, we're all more protected, we're all safer.

KATE LARSEN: We are posting all sorts of links, tips, and tricks from Lee on our website, Kate Larsen, ABC 7 News.