Frustrated San Diegans Find 2nd Doses Elsewhere After Petco Park Super Station Closure

Residents are utilizing their own health networks, after getting their first dose through UC San Diego Health at the Petco Park vaccination site

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Some San Diego County residents -- frustrated with second-dose appointment cancellations at the Petco Park vaccination super station -- have found another way to get that final shot.

Go somewhere else.

“We just knew that if we were cancelled, that there was just going to be a back log," Renee Jacobs said. "And, you know, how long was it going to take ...”

The Petco Park site is operated by UC San Diego Health.

Jacobs, 68, is part of the Scripps Health Network. Fearing a potential cancellation for her second dose at the Petco site, she used the MyChart app to link to Scripps' system. Jacobs and her husband Barry, 69, were then able to make an appointment at a Scripps clinic in Chula Vista.

San Diego County is now vaccinating workers under Tier 1 of Phase 1B, which includes essential workers from education and childcare; emergency services; and the food and agriculture sector, reports NBC 7's Melissa Adan

“Thank god we got ours done," Jacobs said. "It’s a relief. I have friends who are calling me -- I mean. just this morning -- panicked and freaking out because they can’t get their second shot."

The same strategy worked for Joseph Saft, 67.

“You can see the frustration and anguish of people who are trying to get vaccinated," Saft said. "I received more than one postponement email, it was my decision."

A Scripps Health representative had no official statement on the strategy of getting a second dose at a different location.

“Due to some spare doses of Moderna vaccine that Scripps had last week, we were able to help out a small number of people whose second Moderna shots had been postponed at other vaccine sites,” Keith Darce, public relations manager for Scripps Health, wrote in an email to NBC7. "We currently don’t have additional Moderna doses to offer up in this way."

A Sharp HealthCare representative issued a statement discouraging people from getting a second dose at a separate location because of the potential impact on the management of the vaccine supply chain.

“We are doing our best to accommodate Sharp patients who received their first dose at Petco, especially if they are nearing the 42-day mark after receiving their first,” said John Cihomsky with Sharp Healthcare. "However, because we are allocated second doses based on the quantity we provide for first doses, we are asking all residents to return to their original vaccination site whenever possible. Otherwise, we will not have enough second doses for the patients we originally vaccinated. So we do not endorse switching vaccination sites after getting your first [shot]."

Meanwhile, a UC San Diego Health representative said people are not obligated to get their second dose at Petco if they can find that dose somewhere else. However, they are asking that you inform your doctor if a second shot is received at a separate location so it can be entered into a regional reporting system.

The idea of people going to a different location speaks toward the frustration people are having with cancellations at the Petco Park super station.

“This whole delivery of vaccine is not well organized," Saft said. "It really makes me sad, especially sad for the people, who ... don’t have transportation, don’t have computer skills and can’t navigate this ocean of data."

“Terrible," Jacobs said. "Terrible. Chaotic. There could have been a better way. There’s no excuse for how chaotic it is. It’s terrible."

The Petco Park super station is scheduled to reopen Wednesday.

On Monday, a county representative said officials are expecting the delivery of more than 46,000 doses on Monday and Tuesday.

Of those doses, 20,500 are expected to be from Moderna, and 25,740 from Pfizer. Twenty percent will be prioritized for educators, with 10% designated for law enforcement.

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