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San Diego Super Stations report drastic drop in vaccinations

Posted at 5:20 PM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-09 10:26:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Vaccination Super Stations across San Diego County are seeing a sudden, major drop in people getting vaccinated. Both UC San Diego Health and Sharp Healthcare, which run the Super Stations, reported major drops in attendance in early May.

Suzanne Shea, Sharp Healthcare’s Vice President of System Pharmacy said Sharp recently hit half a million doses given out, but then hit a major wall this past week. Previously, they faced dose and volunteer shortages. Now, that has changed.

“This week we find ourselves with more than enough staff and more than enough vaccines, so it’s really flipped on its head,” said Shea.

Shea said there are days when all five Sharp vaccination sites can do as many as 7,000 vaccinations in one single day. This past week, daily totals hit only 2,000 to 3,000.

UCSD reported a similar trend. Three weeks ago, UCSD posted 8,000 appointments, a number that previously would disappear within hours. Weeks later and those appointments still sit unclaimed.

Leaders, including San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, said the drastic slowing is likely because everyone who was anxious to get the vaccine already did.

"We’re in a new phase. We were in a phase where all we had to do was get a vaccine, make an appointment available and it’s gone," said Chair Fletcher.

This leads to a new obstacle: vaccinating people who are not as eager to get the shot. The healthcare providers and county leaders agree that the best tactic is taking the vaccines to people so they don’t have to go to Super Stations.

The county just launched a new program that allows large groups of people, including businesses and churches, to request a pop-up vaccine site come to them.

RELATED: San Diego bringing vaccine pop-up sites to large groups, businesses

In addition, Sharp and UCSD say they’re working on creating smaller pop-up sites around the county to make it easier for people to access the vaccines. They're also planning to set up sites at high schools around the county in the coming week.