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Petco Park vaccination super station closes permanently Saturday

Petco Park vaccination super station
Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 19:26:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- The Petco Park Vaccination super station will permanently cease operations at the end of the day Saturday.

"It's been such a privilege to partner with the San Diego Padres, the county, and the city to bring this vaccination station to life," said Brendan Kremer, the Chief Operation Officer of UCSD Health, which runs the site.

While the site experienced some closures that lasted days due to weather damage and then a shortage of vaccines, leading to delayed and canceled appointments, the site still managed to give more than 215,000 COVID-19 doses to San Diegans. Approximately 120,000 of those were first doses.

"Petco itself almost took care of a quarter of the vaccinations in San Diego," said Kremer.

Now, some people who received the first dose at the Petco site recently won't be able to get the second there.

"We've done everything we can to reach out to everyone, and we really feel we have achieved the majority if not all of the second doses to be scheduled," said Kremer. "However, if there's still some second doses hanging out there, we encourage those people to either via MyTurn or directly through their healthcare provider to schedule at another site after Petco closes tomorrow."

County officials have known that the site, located at Petco Park's tailgate lot, would be turned back over to the Padres before opening day on April 1st.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Thursday that the county is eyeing possibly moving operation to the convention center once more vaccines are available.

"We don't need to do that immediately because we have plenty of capacity in the rest of our network; even if we had a significant uptick in the supply of vaccines, the rest of the 30 sites would be able to absorb it, and at that point, we could move forward with standing up the operation at the convention center," said Fletcher during the county's weekly press conference. "We would love to continue to work with UC San Diego; they've been a tremendous partner and ally."

Kremer said UCSD Health stands ready to partner with the county again.

For now, UCSD Health will be turning its focus to its other super station at the Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex (RIMAC) on UCSD's main campus.

Kremer said that the site could give up to 5,000 doses daily when vaccine supply is available, but right now, it's averaging between 1,000 and 3,000 doses daily.

"Also something we're very proud of, we're partnering with many of the cities to run a vaccine bus; we call it our mobile vaccination unit," he said. "That unit is going to different cities throughout the county to ensure that we provide vaccines in the hardest-hit areas. We really want to make sure that we achieve really equitable access to the vaccine."

Kremer said they've been able to administer 16,000 doses through the mobile unit.

"We're averaging about 500 a day but hoping to get up to 1,000 a day via that process very soon," he said.
The Petco Park vaccination super station will close between 5 PM and 7 PM Saturday.

"Personally, it's been an absolutely rewarding experience. This is where you actually feel like you're getting something done for the community," said Kremer. "On behalf of UC San Diego and everyone, this has been one of the greatest experiences of a lot of our lives, and it's been an honor to do this."