SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County is partnering with the Padres and UC San Diego to open a vaccination "super station" to speed up the rate at which local health care workers get a coronavirus vaccine.
The county says the new site will begin administering shots to health care workers in Phase 1A on Monday, Jan. 11 and will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the team's Tailgate Lot on Imperial Avenue near Petco Park.
The new drive-up site will be able to administer up to 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 a day, allowing the county to accelerate vaccinating the region's 500,000 health care workers eligible for a shot.
Health care workers will need to make an appointment online and show proof of employment when they arrive. Eligible proof of employment includes:
- Employee ID badge with photo or other documents, including a professional license and a photo ID, signed letter from their employer on facility letterhead and a photo ID; or
- A payment stub or timesheet from their healthcare employer or in-home supportive services with a photo ID
Phase 1A health care workers eligible for vaccination should check with their healthcare provider first, before trying to make an appointment at the site, according to the county.
The site will give the county a chance to see whether more supersized sites can be rolled out in other areas. County public health leaders had already set up four small pods across the region to serve health care workers, which will continue to operate.
Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher says if the site outside Petco Park is effective — and as more doses of a vaccine become available — it can help the county plan for faster distribution to those in future phases.
"The vaccination super station increases our ability as a county to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers," said Fletcher. "Opening this supersized vaccination site will be an important milestone in the State of California’s COVID recovery when it opens on Monday. With UC San Diego Health assisting this new regional partnership we will get vaccines into the arms of health care workers much faster."
Slower than expected roll out
San Diego County's rollout of Phase 1A vaccinations for health care workers has gone slower than expected.
Friday, Director of Health and Human Services Nick Macchione told the SANDAG Board of Directors that the challenge has been linked to the higher amount of care required of health care workers as COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU cases rise.
"The rollout for hospitals has been challenging because they've been doing a tremendous amount of patient care with the number of covid patients and the ICU. And they've had to do vaccinations, a tremendous amount of pressure not just on the hospitals but community clinics. So everyone is impacted if you will, but they are moving as quickly as they can," Macchione said.
County health officials also pointed to the holidays as a source of the delays, but say they are working to speed up the process. California has already enlisted the help of dentists to help give vaccines, and the county says it's training firefighters to do the same.
The next tier of eligible vaccinations is expected to happen in February.
As more doses become available, Macchione says the county will be releasing details of a system that will notify the public of when it's their turn.
"One location where people can register, give their information. And it will tell them when we think or when the vaccine is available or when their tier is up. And tell them what to do and where to go," Macchione said.