UPDATED Dec. 22, 10:45 a.m.
The San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living, one of the largest senior facilities in the Bay Area, will receive the Covid-19 vaccine sometime between Dec. 21 and 28, according to SFCJL spokesperson Marcus Young.
SFCJL does not yet know how many vaccine doses it will receive initially, said Young. But he said priority will be first given to patients or residents who leave the campus regularly to access medical therapies, such as dialysis. Next, the vaccine will be given to clinical care staff who work directly with patients. After those two groups are covered, the rest of the population will be vaccinated.
The facility has over 600 staff members and 325 residents.
The vaccine will be delivered by San Francisco’s health department, said Young. The SFCJL will receive either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Both companies have applied for emergency authorization by the federal government and are awaiting final approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
Each vaccine requires two doses. After the first dose has been introduced to the facility, a second round of vaccinations will be administered within three or four weeks.
The Moldaw Residences, an assisted-living facility in Palo Alto and part of the SFCJL’s Jewish Senior Living Group, has not received word on when it would receive the vaccine, according to Young. Nor had Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco or Reutlinger Community in Danville.
The development is a ray of hope as the numbers of coronavirus cases skyrocket across California, which has responded with a set of strict shutdown policies.
The state is averaging 21,000 cases a day, the highest since the pandemic started and double the number during the worst months in the summer, according to the New York Times.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, three of the four Bay Area Jewish senior facilities have had coronavirus cases among their residents, patients and staff to varying degrees.
At the SFCJL, a total of 22 employees, five long-term residents and three short-term care patients have tested positive for the coronavirus since March. At the moment, a nursing unit is under quarantine after a caregiver tested positive the week of Nov. 30, according to the facility’s website.
Rhoda Goldman Plaza had a steep rise in coronavirus cases in September, resulting in the death of eight residents in its memory-care program, according to an email sent to community members on Nov. 5.
“The loss of these residents has been deeply felt by the staff who worked so closely with them and by the larger Terrace community,” wrote assistant executive director Adrienne Fair and director of resident services Elizabeth Wyma-Hughes.
Since March, the facility has reported 15 staff cases and 25 resident cases, according to the state’s Department of Social Services.
At the Reutlinger Community, a total of seven staff and five residents have tested positive since March, according to Todd Murch, who is temporarily heading operations.
The Moldaw Residences has not had any cases, according to Young.
The first batch of 327,000 vaccines will be sent to California by Dec. 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at a press conference on Nov. 30. It will be prioritized for health care workers at high-risk locations, including skilled-nursing facilities like the SFCJL and Reutlinger.
By the end of the year, California will receive 2 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, Newsom announced on Dec. 7.
“We will be getting the vaccine, but we do not have a date yet,” said Rhoda Goldman Plaza’s executive director Ira Kurtz. According to Kurtz, RGP is part of the first tier of locations that will receive the state’s initial batch of vaccines.
“Given the supply will be lower than demand, regions will need to prioritize,” he said.