SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — With the announcement of more COVID vaccines arriving in Santa Clara County, the city of San Jose and community partners came together to host a vaccine clinic at downtown’s city hall.
“Somebody called it a race against the variants and the longer we leave people unvaccinated the more there are chances for the virus to mutate,” says Sarita Kohli, president and CEO of Asian American for Community Involvement.
“So it’s really important to get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, so this is part of that effort to reach a very large community of a number of people in a single day.”
In partnership with several community organizations, the clinic targeted the city’s most vulnerable population in an effort to keep the community safe.
Kohli tells KRON4 News about 800 to 900 people would receive a vaccine through the clinic.
“Access for vaccines for these two communities has been very very challenging and so we partnered with the city of San Jose and about 20 nonprofits to get the unhoused here and to be able to provide them the vaccine,” says Kohli.
“And other resources like food and connect them with social services as well.”
An additional 100 individuals with disabilities also received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine through the clinic.
Helping to get some of these individuals to get to the vaccine clinic at city hall was nonprofit Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC).
“This has been a population that has been underserved as far as finding places to get vaccinated,” says Sheri Burns, executive director of SVILC.
“And this being a local area on a bus line, major routes here are easier for people to get to, it’s been wonderful.”
San Jose Fire Department (SJFD) members helped administer the vaccines and were on standby in case anybody has a bad reaction.
“It’s very important for the city and the fire department and all these communities to help out with the vaccination process,” says Cesar Martinez, captain for SJFD.
“And we are able to and we are delighted to provide the personnel that we need for that purpose.”
Despite a pause in administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine the county as a whole has seen a major increase of vaccine supply.
Earlier in the week county public health officials announced that the county received more than 300,000 doses from the federal government.
“We are seeing many more vaccines coming into our community which is allowing us to have many more of these pop-up community clinics,” says Burns.
“And so we’ve been able to partner with a couple of organizations like Safeway Pharmacy on Branham Lane, with AACI today, and with the San Jose regional center in having many more events like these.”