County, San Diego State partner to open COVID-19 vaccine site at Viejas Arena

UCLA San Diego St Basketball
Posted at 11:19 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 14:19:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A new COVID-19 vaccine site is opening at San Diego State's Viejas Arena in the College Area.

County leaders say it will allow more San Diegans to get vaccinated, especially as the Petco Park site closed over the weekend.

The arena will operate in partnership with San Diego State University and the county. County officials say up to 700 vaccines are expected to be administered daily in its first week of operation with the site working up to administering as many as 1,500 vaccines a day afterward, depending on supply.

The site will serve all county residents who are now eligible to receive a vaccine. The arena is big, allows for distancing, has plenty of parking, and a nearby trolley stop and bus lines.

A spokesperson for County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says the partnership will help reach the county's underserved populations.

"The county’s long public health partnership with SDSU expanded in May 2020 to use community health workers trained by the university’s public health department to help reach our most vulnerable population," said Fletcher. "The opening of a robust vaccination site at this well-known location offers an important expansion of our equity-focused outreach into the nearby historically underserved communities."

Fletcher said they'll use community health workers deployed into underserved communities, particularly those areas that have large numbers of immigrants and refugees, to help encourage them to get vaccinated.

SDSU President Adela de la Torre said the location will offer convenience to both students and staff and the public at large.

“Our teams are both attentive to the need to expand vaccine access, and Viejas Arena is a convenient location for both our campus and the public,” de la Torre said. “We are proud of the continued collaboration with our county partners. Together, we have already expanded access to COVID-19 testing, sustained a project that is improving contact tracing efforts, and also are offering direct support to those who speak languages other than English. These collaborative efforts have direct and positive impacts on the daily lives of our community.”

The Viejas Arena site will also help accommodate the county's expanded eligibility for the vaccine, which now includes people between 16 and 64 years old with certain underlying health conditions.

It will be open five days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. More information on county vaccination sites can be found online here.