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Mass vaccination sites open in the Bay Area

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Despite warnings of vaccine shortages, at least three Bay Area counties are opening mass vaccination sites.

These sites open as California is ranked last for the rate of vaccine distribution and as the governor is being criticized for allegedly hiding coronavirus information.

Contra Costa County

A new mass vaccination site is open in the city of Antioch.

Contra Costa Health services hopes the site will perform more than 800 vaccinations daily.

Seniors eligible for a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination have been lined up during business hours outside the Nick Rodriguez Community Center and Theater in Antioch since the venue was converted into a vaccination clinic Wednesday.

One senior, Jerry, says he stood in line for three hours Thursday to get his shot, but by Friday, the process and wait times improved.

“I live here in Antioch,” he said. “So, its nice to be able to come over here.”

Contra Costa Health Services is running the clinic in partnership with the city, which says it will make the facility available for vaccinations as long as the need is there.

“Oh, I think it’s essential that we do this as soon as possible and reach as many people as possible,” Karen Tarkoff said.

Antioch is second behind Richmond for the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases within Contra Costa County.

That’s why transforming this community center into a vaccination clinic — is so important.

“Antioch is also one of the most diverse cities in the county, just as Pittsburg is, and so we know that this has impacted communities of color drastically,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. “Particularly the Latino community. And, so we wanted to make sure that we were up and running in Antioch and assisting the county every which way as possible.”

Health services say from Wednesday through Friday — 825 vaccines have been administered on-site.

Adding that when the clinic is fully operational — it expects to perform 870 vaccinations daily.

“It means a lot because even the first injection will give you a certain degree of immunity. not enough for me to live like before COVID, certainly,” Farrokh Modabber said. “But definitely, it will produce an immune response, which would be at least sufficient to reduce the possibility of me getting sick.”

Appointments are required. They can be booked through health services online or over the phone.

San Francisco

The city launched its first mass coronavirus vaccination clinic — The first major step the city is taking to try to get all city residents vaccinated by this summer.

On Friday, the mass coronavirus vaccination opened at City College.

It opened up at 8 a.m. and is providing the Moderna vaccine to people who qualify under the vaccination rollout plan. That includes health care workers, folks who live or work in long-term care facilities and people who are over 65 or older.  

You have to sign up online, you are given an appointment, you drive down here to get your vaccine. Then, in a few weeks, you will have to do it again to get your second dose.

The city has a long-term plan of vaccinating ten thousand people per day at this location and two other locations, the Moscone Center and the SF Market in the Bayview, but they are nowhere near that level right now.

The biggest drawback at the moment is that they do not have a large enough supply of vaccines. The mayor was here Friday and says that they are hoping to get more. The biggest thing giving them encouragement is that the country has a new president.

“That’s the good news. He’s prepared to do what’s necessary. Get these vaccines produced faster and get them out to cities all over the country. So, I’m excited about that. Of course, what we have is not enough, what we have coming is not enough but we’re happy to have what we get, but we need more desperately,” Mayor Breed said.

The city says that this location will be open Saturday and Sunday.  

Beyond that, they’re not sure what their vaccine supply will be.

Santa Clara County

The rain perhaps dampened the turnout on day one, but the newest COVID-19 mass vaccination site in the South Bay opened for business this morning at the Mountain View Community Center on Rengstorf Avenue.

Among the first to get vaccinated against COVID-19 was 87-year-old Rita Leitner of Los Gatos for whom the shot was a sense a relief.

The appointment-only site has the capacity to vaccinate as many as 1,000 people per day. Due to limited vaccine supply, the county and other health care providers are currently offering vaccinations to health care personnel and long-term care facility residents, as well as people 75 and older.

Those 65 and older may have to wait another 6-8 weeks for the shot, says County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

Simitian says convenience is the key. He says the more locations we have that serve people where they live and work, the more likely it is we’ll be able to slow the tide of the virus.

As for getting the appointment and waiting her turn, which took all of about 20 minutes, to say nothing of the shot itself, it was “a piece of cake,” says Rita Lietner.

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