A new COVID-19 vaccine site opened at Viejas Arena on Tuesday to allow more San Diegans to get inoculated.
The College Area arena reopened as the city’s new vaccination site as part of a partnership between San Diego State University and the county. Up to 200 vaccines were expected to be administered Tuesday during its first day of operation, with the location capable of administering up to 1,500 vaccines a day afterward, depending on supply.
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“We stand here today at Viejas Arena – a place where many momentous occasions have occurred. Today is another momentous occasion," said Andrea Dooley, SDSU Associate Vice President for Health, Well-Being & Accessibility. "The opening of this new, county-led vaccination site should be celebrated. We are pleased to support in this important effort as the county continues to make progress in its vaccination efforts.”
The new public vaccine site will be open five days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Its opening comes on the heels of Petco Park’s COVID-19 vaccination super station closure.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said during the announcement on Monday that 10% of the appointments at Viejas Arena will be reserved for individuals in the county's hardest-hit communities.
“We will continue to focus on equity," Fletcher said. "We will continue to work diligently and intentionally to ensure our hardest-hit communities, communities that historically have the least access into our normal health care systems, have a culturally competent, appropriate way through trusted messengers to be able to access our vaccine network.
Viejas Arena’s vaccine site will help accommodate San Diego County’s expanded eligibility for the shot, which includes residents ages 16 to 64 who have certain underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to the virus.
San Diego resident Nicholas Comfoltey, whose wife is pregnant and mother-in-law lives with them, said he wanted to get the vaccine in an effort to keep his family safe.
“I think it just means a little bit less risk," Comfoltey told NBC 7. "Even when going to the grocery store, not just as worried.”
County and university leaders formally announced the opening of the new vaccination location during a press conference Monday. Local leaders noted that this vaccine site is a walk-through location, not a drive-thru one.
To see the county’s open appointments for the vaccine, click here.