More San Diego County residents will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine at the Del Mar Fairgrounds beginning Friday thanks to the vaccine site’s new expansion, which will allow for tens of thousands of vaccines administered if supplies allow.
“We are now set up to do as many as 10,000 vaccines a day and if we get the vaccine to do that, we can put a lot of vaccine in a lot of arms very quickly,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.
The fairgrounds expanded its vaccination super station to open up O’Brien Hall as part of the site. It began operating as a vaccine site in February from the Wyland Center. By midday Friday, the fairgrounds had already administered close to 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is the light at the end of the tunnel and a real exciting day today because we’re getting 5,000 doses out today,” Van Gorder said.
One North Park resident told NBC 7 that the process of getting his second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the location was swift and simple.
“It was very easy. I mean, communication was really good, they kept updating us,” said John Olchak. “They updated us so much, we couldn’t have missed it.”
He said he felt relieved getting his second shot and urges the public to get their vaccines, as well.
“I would say get the shot. It’s just science, it’s just math, it’s just data,” he said. “You need to do your part, you need to get a shot so we can all get out there.”
Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Chief Medical Officer for acute care and clinical excellence at Scripps Health, also encourages everyone to do their part in getting the vaccine.
“As a chief medical officer, I’ll tell you I would like nothing more than to give people vaccines because we’ve seen the toll that it takes when people haven’t been vaccinated,” she said.
She added that she has seen a decline in COVID-19 hospital admissions with more San Diegans getting their shots. Dr. Sharieff also said that she hasn’t seen any vaccinated individual admitted to the hospital for the virus.
“I want everybody to get back to normal, which is what everybody wants, and the safest and fastest way to get there is by getting the vaccine,” she said.
To see open COVID-19 vaccine appointments in San Diego County, click here.