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COVID Vaccine: Santa Clara County Fears 'Chaos' as Vaccination Supplies Dwindle

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- Santa Clara County public health officials on Friday said they're alarmed by reports the federal government has depleted its stockpile of COVID-19 vaccine -- a reserve that was meant to provide a steady supply of the vaccine for the prescribed second dose.

"We learned this morning that no such stockpile exists. This throws into chaos expectations around vaccine delivery," said Santa Clara County's Chief Counsel James Williams.

Santa Clara County has significantly ramped up its distribution efforts, administering an estimated 6,000 shots a day and 30,000 shots per week. But that system was dependent on regular new shipments of the vaccine. Without those doses, the county would quickly exhaust its available supply.

"We don't have enough vaccines. The federal government indicated that we're not getting more vaccines because of an inventory issue they're having," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee.

Santa Clara County is currently offering vaccinations to healthcare workers, seniors living in nursing homes and people 75 and older.

"It's so organized. I love it," says 92-year-old Gloria Hurst who received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the county's Berger Drive vaccination site.

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Hurst said she hopes the federal government and the county can sort out the supply issues before it's time for her second dose of the vaccine in four weeks.

"If the federal government had handled this early on, we wouldn't have so much angst now," said Hurst.

Public health officials warned that without additional shipments their accelerated distribution efforts would use up the available supply.

"It's very frustrating. I have my parents and my in-laws. And to think that they may not have the opportunity to get vaccinated when they need to is very upsetting," said healthcare worker Matt Leaf.

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