CONCORD (KPIX) — Contra Costa County is making headway with its increased COVID vaccination efforts Wednesday with the newly opened drive-through mass vaccination site in Concord in full swing.
On Tuesday, Contra Costa became the first Bay Area county to expand eligibility for everyone who lives and works there age 16 and older.READ MORE: Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Redwood City Police In 2018 Shooting Of Kyle Hart
The high demand for the vaccine doses was pretty clear based on the large number of cars lined up at the Concord vaccination site Wednesday morning. The site is set up in the parking lot of the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park.
“I’m ready to get this done. I’ve got a college student who doesn’t obey the rules, so it’s gonna make me feel a whole lot better,” laughed county resident Mary Carvotta-Trexler as she waited in her car.
Contra Costa County made the move to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults over two weeks before the state plans to increase availability thanks to a large influx of doses. Right now, about 640,000 or 46% of the county’s population has gotten at least one dose.
That number is about to spike. There was such a huge demand Tuesday after the eligibility announcement that people crashed the county website, the only place where residents can access the universal sign-up.READ MORE: Antioch, Oakland Police Announce Arrests In Series Of Shootings Blamed On Gang War
County officials said they made the call to open up eligibility when they realized they had appointments going unfilled and plenty of doses available.
Rather than open things up piecemeal, the county made the call to let everyone in, getting them closer to their inoculation goals.
“We set a goal of vaccinating one million doses into arms by July 4th. Last week, we moved that up to Memorial Day,” said Contra Costa County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli. “We are confident that we will meet that goal, maybe even sooner.”
County officials are asking residents for patience. The plan is a slow ramp up at the Concord site, starting at around 2,000 appointments a day to start and increasing to 4,000 a day by next week. But the system seemed to be working fairly smoothly already on Wednesday.MORE NEWS: Crews Knock Down Concord House Fire on Vancouver Way
As of March 31, providers have reported administering a total of 18,023,603 vaccine doses statewide in California. The CDC reports that 22,892,620 doses have been delivered to entities within the state.