BENICIA (KPIX 5) – In Benicia and the immediate surrounding area there are thought to be about 1,600 people 75 years of age or older. It was monumental news when this community suddenly received 1,400 doses of vaccine.

“I didn’t even know they were doing it,” said Carrie Burns. “I turned the TV on and they said they were having it. So I said I better go down and try to get a shot.”

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Burns was done, just like that. Even with non-stop traffic, Tuesday’s vaccination effort moved with machine-like precision.

“Twenty minutes,” guessed Ken Butler on his way out. “They’re really moving people well.”

COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Benicia on February 2, 2021. (CBS)

COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Benicia on February 2, 2021. (CBS)

To make it happen, Benicia had to get moving. Like many of the larger clinics now popping up around the Bay Area, this one materialized in a hurry.

“We were able to pull this off in a span of five days when we got word from Solano County and mobilized the entire city infrastructure,” said Benicia Economic Development Manager Mario Giuliani. “Valero refinery provided all the lunches today. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for the entire city.”

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There were similar scenes last week in Rohnert Park, and just Saturday in East Palo Alto. Counties are starting to get more control over their vaccine supplies, that presents the opportunity for these larger clinics, and all of it is starting to add up across the state of California.

“As we’ve come out of the surge, we’ve increased our ability,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “Like the train, picking up steam.”

At Tuesday’s briefing, Ghaly likened the vaccination effort to an accelerating train. In truth, California has clawed its way back to the middle of the pack as far as distribution metrics go nationwide.

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But clinics like this the one in Benicia will certainly go a long way locally. With this one big lift, almost everyone in this community most at-risk will have received at least one shot.

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“We’re feeling pretty confident that after today, both this vaccination and other events that that entire population will be vaccinated in Benicia,” Giuliani said.