Nine months into the pandemic, five front line workers at Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG) joined healthcare staff across the country for the very first rounds of the COVID-19 vaccine. Having faced so much uncertainty and witnessed so much loss, this was a brief reprieve, a moment of hope.
With gratitude for the science behind these vaccines, many at ZSFG then began preparing for how best to serve their communities. Before supplies of the vaccine were even available to the general public, they reached out to those hit hardest by this virus—through webinars and presentations explaining how the vaccines work and public outreach campaigns. And many took the time to assist their patients in navigating the often-complicated vaccination appointment systems.
As one of the San Francisco Health Network hubs, ZSFG quickly outfitted underutilized areas of the hospital to create one of the city’s earliest public vaccination sites. And with an eye on equity, it quickly became a drop-in site for residents 65+ living in ZIP codes near the hospital—areas with disproportionate numbers of COVID-19 cases. Removing the need for digital literacy in order to schedule an appointment, these free vaccination clinics have helped thousands of eligible patients receive their first dose.