OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Despite the vaccine shortage that has closed two of San Francisco’s main COVID vaccination centers, in less than 24 hours one of the state’s largest vaccination sites is set to open at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The site will open two days after appointments were made available online for eligible Alameda County residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at the location.READ MORE: Lake County Luxury Hotel, Housing Project Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Risk
Residents with priority for the site include front line workers, long-term care providers, people 65 and older, educators. Registration for appointments is available online at myturn.ca.gov.
According to the state’s recently launched COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, Alameda County has administered a total of 256,045 doses of the vaccine so far.
On Monday, cars could be seen driving into the large tents that have been set up in the Coliseum parking lot where they were met by workers who will begin distributing thousands of COVID vaccines.
Doctor Peter Chin-Hong of UCSF says the race is on to get more doses into arms before new variants of the virus appear.
“Every two weeks, the virus is mutating. So, what’s next? It’s not going to be the South African variant. Maybe it’s the Bayview variant. Maybe it’s the Pacific Heights variant,” said Dr. Chin-Hong. “The longer we wait to immunize everyone, the longer we wait for herd immunity, the higher the chance that some new variant is going to come on board and wreak havoc.”
There are other new vaccination sites opening up in the Bay Area. In San Mateo County, SFO’S long-term parking garage will become a drive through vaccine site this week.
Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared at the Coliseum to announce plans for the mass vaccination site that will be operated by both state and federal health officials.
The location will eventually have the capacity to administer up to 6,000 vaccine doses per day once that volume is available, according to state officials.
Operations at the two mass vaccination sites in San Francisco — at Moscone Center and San Francisco City College — will be limited this week due to the current vaccine shortage.
“The vaccine supply coming to San Francisco’s healthcare providers and the Department of Public Health is limited, inconsistent, and unpredictable, making vaccine roll out difficult and denying San Franciscans this potentially life-saving intervention,” officials said in Sunday’s announcement.
The Moscone Center site will be shut down starting Monday for at least for a week. Officials said the CCSF site is scheduled to be shut down until Friday and then vaccinations will be limited to those needing second doses.READ MORE: Theft Leaves San Jose Couple Bereft: 'We’re Heartbroken, All Our Precious Things Are Gone'
So far, there has been no announcement as to how many vaccine doses the Coliseum site will have available to distribute when it opens.
The Oakland Coliseum site is one of two in California being run in a collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state Office of Emergency Services.
The Pentagon is supplying troops to help staff the Coliseum site, with a military team of 222 personnel, including 80 who will give the vaccines, as well as nurses and other support staff.
Local agencies are also pitching in to make it easier for people to get to and from the Coliseum vaccination site. The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District will offer fare-free shuttles to the site and BART is offering a ticket good for a free ride home.
The fare-free AC Transit shuttle lines will begin on Monday will operate seven days per week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The first vaccine shuttle will operate every 15 minutes directly from Coliseum BART to the vaccination site. Riders of bus lines 45, 46L, 73, 90 and 98 will also connect to the vaccine shuttle at Coliseum BART. Riders are reminded to look for the head-sign Vaccine Shuttle/BART-Coliseum for the correct shuttle.
The second shuttle will operate every 20 minutes starting at the Eastmont Transit Center and will stop at Coliseum BART before heading to the vaccine site.
AC Transit requires riders to wear facemasks while waiting at stops and at all times while onboard. Free onboard facemasks and hand sanitizer are available to riders.
BART will offer a free $7 fare ticket to those who show their vaccination card with a valid date.
A $7 fare is enough to get from the Coliseum BART station to any other station in the system, save for the station at San Francisco International Airport, according to BART officials.
BART will also add extra staff members to the Coliseum station during the agency’s operating hours to ensure those who need or want a fare ticket after their vaccination can get one.MORE NEWS: Indoor Restaurant Dining Resumes, Movie Theaters Reopen in SF and Santa Clara Counties
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