The Chula Vista vaccination superstation is located in one of the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. The site will be closing on Saturday, but it has been instrumental in distributing shots to the community.
“We saw the village was on fire and we were just trying to come out, trying to save the village," said Julian Ospina, a superstation volunteer.
Ospina has been volunteering his time at the site since it opened back in January.
“I think we were all on the same boat, everyone was scared,” Ospina said. “We all wanted to come to do our part. We wanted to put this behind us."
Over 8,000 volunteers like Ospina donated their time across Sharp Health vaccination sites. Together they helped vaccinate over 280,000 people.
“You made friends, you met people, you cared for people,” Ospina said. “Every emotion that you can think of was manifested here, in this clinic."
Also on the frontlines is the Latino Health Coalition, an organization created specifically to tackle COVID-19 concerns in the community
“We saw that there was a need and we wanted to meet that need for the community,” said Sandra Mendoza with the Chicano Federation, an organization that makes part of the coalition. “Ever since we have been involved, over 60% of Hispanics have been vaccinated in San Diego county."
The organization has provided resources and information to members of our community in the hardest-hit areas.
“We offered PPE gear, we offered vaccination information, information scheduling," said Martinez.
Recently the county has also taken part in incentive programs to help boost vaccinations.
"I do get people that call in and ask, 'When do I get my $50 gift card?' or, 'When do I get my incentive?'" said Mendoza.
While the incentives could be responsible for the recent boost in vaccinations, the reality is those numbers have started to slow down. What’s not slowing down, however, are efforts from community volunteers and county employees who say they will continue working to vaccinate as many people as possible.