Mobile COVID-19 van could vaccinate up to 500 people a day

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – There’s been recent concern that those who don’t have access to the COVID-19 vaccine or the ability to physically get to a clinic will be left further behind.

One way to address that problem is to bring the vaccine to them.

Santa Clara County rolled out one of its large mobile health care units Monday to serve as a backdrop for an announcement that it will soon have another unit specially designed for the fight against COVID-19.

Mobile vaccinations are already underway in the form of temporary pop-up clinics but the new, smaller unit is more nimble.

It is expected to accelerate vaccinations among those the most vulnerable to the pandemic, says county vaccine officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib.

“It’s gonna go to wherever we need the vaccine unit to go, which means to places where the impacted communities live. Perhaps senior centers. Perhaps areas where we know that there are high rates of infection but low vaccine uptake. And we have data to show us that. So we will go into neighborhoods, into communities, to bring the vaccine,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib.

The new mobile unit could vaccinate as many as 500 people a day. It will help create a more equitable way to access vaccines for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 by bringing the vaccine to them.

The $199,000 dollars to pay for the new mobile unit was raised by bloom energy and its partners says Bloom Energy CEO, Dr. KR Sridhar.

“Come on, let’s step up! Let’s do good and make good together,” Dr. KR Sridhar said.

Bloom Energy was praised a second time after it partnered in December with the University of Illinois and others in deploying a mobile lab to various locations to provide Bay Area businesses and schools with simple, rapid, and inexpensive COVID-19 PCR testing.

The county says it expects to take delivery of that new van in a couple of weeks hopefully in time as more vaccine shipments arrive.

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