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Del Mar Fairgrounds superstation doubles in size

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 20:10:35-04

The vaccine supercenter at the Del Mar Fairgrounds has increased its capacity to deliver as many as 10,000 vaccines per day, but it's unclear whether the supply will accommodate those plans.

On Thursday and Friday, operator Scripps Health expanded into the O'Brien Hall, meaning it now has the capability to distribute vaccines in two of the larger halls at the fairgrounds.

"For over a year now, we've had almost 900 die in our hospitals, and you have no idea how much of a blessing it is to see healthy people, smiling people getting their vaccine that's going to prevent them, hopefully, from ever getting that sick that they'll have to be hospitalized," Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder said.

Crews administered 5,000 shots on Thursday and Friday in the Wyland Center and O'Brien Hall. The center usually caps out at about 2,000 per day. The two days were something of a practice run for when the larger supply comes in. If enough shots are available, Scripps could increase the hours at the center from a half day to a full day.

"We got in, asked a couple questions, take the cards, take the IDs, shots in the arm, and they're like get out," said John Olchack, a North Park resident who got his second shot Friday. "They had all these flag people waving away, go go go, and here we are."

The supercenter has had to close numerous times since its February opening due to issues of low supply. On Saturday, it will operate only out of the Wyland Center, and be closed on Sunday.

On Monday, Scripps will learn its supply for the week, and whether it can operate out of both exhibit halls. Vaccine appointments can be made online.