Family Health Centers of San Diego is ramping up COVID-19 vaccination distribution to help reach locals who are 65 and older in underserved communities and simply don’t have the resources to schedule an appointment.
“It was frustrating,” said Marina Andrade, who had been trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine for weeks, who was at the clinic in Mount Hope on Monday with her friend Mae Cole. "It was so frustrating."
“I tried, she tried,” Cole said. “There’s nobody to really help people that don’t know about where they can go to get a shot.”
The pair told NBC 7 they have been staying at home and are very cautious over fear of contracting the virus and becoming seriously ill. Andrade said she was feeling helpless after being unsuccessful in getting an appointment.
“Both of us were getting frustrated because, you know, you’re in a cage, you want to get out and start living your life, but you’re afraid if you don’t get this shot, what may happen,” Cole said.
Andrade said she heard about Family Health Centers of San Diego’s vaccination distribution site in Mount Hope, so she gave them a call and to her surprise, someone answered the line.
“It was just so easy” Andrade said. "She asked me a couple questions and that was it. She was like, ‘OK, you got an appointment for 10:45."
Janet Adamian, who is the vice-president of clinic operations for Family Health Centers of San Diego, said many San Diegans, particularly in underserved communities, don’t have the means to secure an appointment.
“It is important for us to reach out to our communities to let them know the importance of getting the vaccine,” said Adamian. "Some people face language barriers, don’t have Internet access or are skeptical about getting vaccinated."
About 500 San Diegans were vaccinated at the Mount Hope clinic Monday. Adamian told NBC 7 that the center plan on opening a second vaccination site to keep up with demand.
“[The] Logan Heights clinic is going to open next week, which is going to be the 16th of February," Adamian said. "The hours are going to be 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. We know patients like to line up before, so we ask our patients to be there at least 30 minutes before.”
Family Health Centers of San Diego is vaccinating people 65 and older. Appointments are required and can be made by visiting their website or calling 619-515-2474.