San Diego County

UCSD to Help County Deliver 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Day

Starting Monday, the Super Station will be operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week for healthcare workers

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UC San Diego Health, San Diego County and the Padres are teaming up to vaccinate at least 5,000 healthcare workers per day against the novel coronavirus, starting Monday.

Those partners, along with the City of San Diego, will run the "Vaccination Super Station" near Petco Park in an effort to safely vaccinate the 500,000 healthcare workers in the region eligible for Phase 1A-Tier categories on California's vaccine priority list.

"The Vaccination Super Station increases our ability as a county to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers," said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

"Opening this supersized vaccination site will be an important milestone in the state of California's COVID recovery when it opens on Monday. With UC San Diego Health assisting this new regional partnership, we will get vaccines into the arms of healthcare workers much faster," he said.

With 42 tents, including 4 walk-up tents, this site ready to vaccinate about 2,500 people by tomorrow. 

CEO of UCSD Health, Patty Maysent, says vaccines will be administered by UCSD health employees. 

Photos: UCSD to Help County Deliver 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Day

The decision to begin a large-scale vaccination site was made Thursday and comes as hospitals throughout the county are bracing for a post-New Year's Eve surge in infections that will challenge the region's ability to care for COVID patients.

As states and medical centers roll out COVID-19 vaccines, many are highlighting recipients from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds to build trust. This is in part due to vaccine hesitancy, especially in Black communities where a history of medical testing without consent and inadequate access to health care has built distrust. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds only 20 percent of Black Americans and 26 percent of Hispanic Americans said they'd get a vaccine "as soon as possible."

The county previously established four point-of-dispensing sites across the region that were administering hundreds of vaccines to healthcare workers daily, and those sites will continue to operate.

Starting Monday, the Super Station will be operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week for healthcare workers. Vaccines will only be administered to healthcare workers who have made an appointment online.

“We have enough for 5,000 a day for a few days, but we’ve already told the state we want more,” said Chairman Fletcher. “Once we get those, then we’ll move to the others. We can’t move to everyone else until we get the healthcare workers done.”

The vaccination site is located at the Padres-controlled Tailgate Lot, a space located on Imperial Avenue near Petco Park. Healthcare workers will be required to present proof they are a healthcare worker when they arrive onsite. Healthcare workers will be able to stay in their vehicle to receive the vaccine and will remain onsite for 15 minutes to be monitored for any side effects.

"Ending this pandemic requires using every tool available, from masking to testing to vaccinations," said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. "The expanded effort to vaccinate more people more quickly requires the close collaboration of multiple partners -- UC San Diego Health, the county, the Padres and others. This partnership's unique combination of leadership, resources, expertise and logistics will bring optimal public health results for the benefit of everyone in San Diego County."

Fletcher said the county hopes to eventually replicate the supersized vaccination site model across the county. No timetable has been set, but he said if the model proves effective, and more doses of the vaccine become available and individuals designated for Tier 2 and Tier 3 are eligible, having the super station model will be vital to distributing the vaccine to more people in a fast, safe environment.

"The rapid buildout and staffing of a major COVID-19 vaccine hub at Petco Park is a massive undertaking, and it would not be possible without our partners at the county and the Padres," said Patty Maysent, CEO of UCSD Health. "We are extremely proud of San Diego for coming together during this crisis, leveraging the innovation and collaboration for which our region is known to support the health and safety of the entire community."

The city will provide traffic control services and security from the San Diego Police Department.

With a new coronavirus strain spreading in England, there are concerns that the COVID-19 vaccines won't be effective against it. Public health physician, professor, and health policy expert Dr. Vin Gupta joined LX News to discuss why confidence is high that the FDA approved vaccines will fight the new variant of the virus.

"Petco Park is more than a ballpark, and we are honored to help the San Diego community by providing the needed space and operational support to the county for their critical COVID-19 vaccination efforts," said Erik Greupner, the Padres' president of business operations.

San Diego County administered its first COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16.

Tips for healthcare workers making an appointment:

  • healthcare workers are encouraged to first contact their healthcare providers to request the vaccine, then make an appointment;
  • do not schedule an appointment if you have COVID-19 or are sick;
  • wear a mask; and
  • forms of proof to be presented at the site include: employee ID badge with photo or other documents, signed letter from their employer on facility letterhead and a photo ID or a payment stub or timesheet from their healthcare employer or in-home supportive services with a photo ID.

“We need to get on the road to recovery and that means we need to get folks vaccinated and vaccinated now,” said Fletcher.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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