SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A week ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom praised San Diego County’s vaccination efforts, specifically at the Petco Park vaccination super station.
“San Diego, the first county, first city, to put a site together like this. Success leaves clues; you inspired others across California,” said Newsom. “A third of the vaccines in this county have been administered just here at this site. Gives you an example of the potency and power of scale in terms of efficient distribution and administration of the vaccine.”
The site has been a collaboration between the county, the City of San Diego, UC San Diego Health, and the San Diego Padres. Up to 5,000, vaccine doses can be given daily.
A viewer emailed ABC 10News with this question “I want to know if the Petco site will be in operation indefinitely – at least the next 3 or 4 months – as the tiers progress, and other included tiers become complete. In other words, can San Diegans rely on this site as a major player in getting citizens vaccinated for some time?”
According to a county spokesperson, the site has to be turned over to the Padres by April 1, Opening Day.
“We’ve known that Petco Park’s tailgate park vaccination center won’t happen forever, which is exactly why we’ve been setting up more locations across the city and the county,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
A spokesperson for UC San Diego Health tells ABC 10News they are looking at alternative vaccination sites, but no decisions have been made yet.
There is no word on whether the next site will be centrally located.
“If we need to make another city-owned property like tailgate park available, we’ll do it,” said Gloria. “I think there are some lessons learned like Petco Park that we certainly would replicate. Partnering with a world-class organization like the Padres has been extremely beneficial; they know how to put on big events.”
Gloria also acknowledges the downside of the site: traffic issues.
“Naturally, the traffic in the area has been extremely congested,” he said.
Right now, there are five super stations from the South Bay to the North County. In Chula Vista, Downtown San Diego, La Mesa, the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and Cal State San Marcos. Those sites have the ability to give thousands of vaccine doses daily, as long as the supply is available. Vaccines are also given at numerous smaller PODs across the county.
“I’m extremely confident that we can utilize existing capacity at other locations that aren’t fully used,” said Gloria.
While it’s still too soon to say, Gloria pictures future vaccination sites to include more pharmacies, senior centers, recreation centers, and possibly even schools.
“You’ll have a combination of very large scale properties and smaller scale, all of it with the eye of getting the vaccines out as quickly as possible,” he said.