A new COVID-19 vaccination super station opened in San Marcos on Sunday. The county-run site is the third of its kind in San Diego and, unfortunately, featuring long lines and a glitch in the appointment system on its debut.
By Monday, however county workers at the North County site said the glitch was resolved, and residents receiving the shot told NBC 7 that the process was streamlined.
"Really great something came up in the North County because I didn’t want to drive to Chula Vista or Oceanside," Barb Gulden said.
The site is expected to vaccinate 250-1,000 people per day, building up to 5,000 vaccines daily, depending on the number of doses available.
Additional COVID-19 vaccine availability may come from new vaccine makers like Johnson & Johnson, whose vaccine’s efficacy rate hovers between 66% to about 85%, as opposed to the already-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have shown an efficacy rate closer to 95%.
"The vaccine that you want to go after is the one that you can get the soonest," said Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, an ear, nose and throat surgeon. "If someone is told, 'Well, you can get the Johnson & Johnson now or wait three weeks for Pfizer,' get the Johnson &Johnson, as you're risking three weeks of potentially getting infected."
Doctors and health leaders said not to focus on the percentage of effectiveness of these vaccines but on how a third vaccine would help protect more people. Additionally, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single shot and does not need to be kept frozen, unlike Pfizer's and Moderna's.
"Right now, we’re in this race against time that we have against the virus, particularly with the new variants out there that appear to be more infectious," Schalch Lepe said. "We're behind and we have to catch up fast."
The Cal State University San Marcos vaccination super station, which is at the CSUSM Sports Center at 103 Campus View Drive, will be open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Appointments must be made at the state MyTurn website.