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COVID: San Francisco Launching Pro-Vaccine Campaign Across The City

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Even before California fully reopens in mid-June, some San Francisco Bay Area counties will be moving into less restrictive tiers.

But hopes that San Francisco would be moving into the Yellow Tier this week will likely not be realized. While hospitalizations are still low, new COVID-19 cases aren't declining at the rate seen in recent weeks and are slightly above the state requirement.

"This is not necessarily unexpected but we do have to be cautious and make sure it's not a sign or a trend of increasing again," said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip.

The earliest San Francisco and other counties would be able to move into the least restrictive Yellow Tier would be in eight days. That would allow nearly all businesses to reopen, but at no more than 50% capacity.

As the city/county tries to advance into the least restrictive tier, officials have unveiled a new pro-vaccine campaign that could make a difference in suppressing the virus even further.

The latest CDC report shows a record 4.6 million doses were administered across the country in a single day. Hesitancy in getting the vaccine among Blacks and Hispanics is fading.

In a recent Gallup poll, 55% of Black adults say they've been vaccinated or plan to get a shot. That's up 14 points from 2 months ago. Meanwhile, 61 percent of Hispanics and 64% of whites say the same.

"We are addressing questions about vaccine hesitancy and that people have the information they need to make an informed decision," said San Francisco Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax.

Using the artist Fnnch' Honey Bears, that have popped up all over the city, SFMTA and the Department of Health just launched its first COVID vaccination campaign, as millions more, 16 and older become eligible in 3 days.

"San Francisco has a history of doing these types of campaigns working with the community and local artists. We're really reaching people where they live and are," said Colfax.

The vaccinated Honey Bears will be featured on SFMTA buses later this week, and have appeared at transit stops across the city.

"We know different messengers whether it's in the arts or faith based communities, can connect to individuals throughout the state to encourage them to get vaccinated, so look forward to doing that more and more," said California health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

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