Nearly half of Berkeley residents above 16 years old have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday, the city announced, putting it among the cities with the highest vaccination rates in Alameda County and the state.
According to county data, 52,278 people in Berkeley (49.4%) have received at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine (which only requires one dose) and, of those, 33,400 people (or about 30% of the city’s population) are fully vaccinated. About 46% of the county as a whole has received at least one dose and 29% are fully vaccinated.
Berkeley ranks sixth in Alameda County behind Piedmont (68.5% first doses) Albany (59.7%), Alameda (54.2%), Sunol (53.3%) and Castro Valley (52.9%). Apart from Albany, which also houses the Golden Gate Fields vaccination site, most of these cities have a larger share of residents who are older than 65 and had priority access to the vaccine at the beginning of the rollout.
“Vaccinating our city, which is critical to saving lives and getting Berkeley back to business, remains my number one priority,” Mayor Jesse Arreguín said in the statement, describing efforts to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine distribution at hospitals, senior care homes, homeless shelters and partnerships with local Black churches and religious organizations for underserved populations.
Vaccines for Berkeley residents have come from multiple sources, including a mass vaccination site run by FEMA at the Oakland Coliseum, which is set to continue operations, sites staffed by community health organizations like LIfeLong Medical Care, primary care providers, Kaiser, UC Berkeley and offshoot mobile clinics from the FEMA site.
The city itself has been vaccinating essential workers, teachers, food service employees and more at its own clinics throughout the city, as well as running the Golden Gate Fields mass vaccination site with Curative and Alameda County. On its dashboard, the city says it has received 56,165 doses and administered 47,103 doses to date. That’s about 90% of the total first doses for Berkeley residents.
Eligibility opened up to everyone above the age of 50 last week and everyone above the age of 16 can start booking appointments on April 15.
The state announced Tuesday that the surge of vaccine availability and vaccinations in hardest-hit counties will allow California to leave the tier system and open up all sectors on June 15. Over 30 million doses have been distributed across the state, and Alameda County is in the top five counties statewide with over a million doses administered. About 23% of the state’s population and 19% of the United States is fully vaccinated.