Santa Clara County is launching pop-up COVID-19 vaccine sites in East San Jose and Gilroy in an effort to reach the neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus.
Following a revelation last week that eligible Latinx residents were receiving the vaccine at a slower rate than other groups, despite being disproportionately affected by the virus, county officials on Thursday revealed a new strategy to vaccinate. underserved communities. Pop-up clinics will move between the two locations on a rotating basis.
“In Santa Clara County, we know that we have many ZIP codes that are greatly affected by COVID-19,” said Cindy Chavez, chair of the county Board of Supervisors. “And this gives us the opportunity to go directly into the community, directly into the neighborhoods, and be able to be present where people need our services.”
He spoke outside a county public health office on Story Road in east San Jose, where the vaccines were administered Thursday. That location will be open on Thursdays and Fridays.
On Wednesdays, a vaccine clinic will open at the Gilroy Senior Center.
Despite accounting for a disproportionate share of the county’s infections during the pandemic, only 4.1% of Santa Clara’s more than 400,000 qualified Latinx residents have been vaccinated, health officials reported last week in a new dashboard that tracks dose delivery by breed. About 8.7% of the county’s more than 620,000 white residents have been vaccinated.
In Santa Clara, Latinos account for 51% of the county’s COVID-19 cases and only 25% of the population; Statewide, the group represents 55% of cases and approximately 39% of the population.
Similar discrepancies exist throughout the Bay Area, and local leaders are seeking solutions.
Santa Clara County is employing a multi-pronged approach in an attempt to vaccinate all eligible individuals. The county opened Levi’s Stadium on Tuesday as what will become California’s largest vaccination site. Health workers go door-to-door to residents’ homes and businesses, urging them to get vaccinated.
New pop-up sites will make it easier for people with limited access to transportation or technology by allowing them to walk to a site in their neighborhood, without having to make an appointment online. Patients can go to the vaccination site in the morning and pick up a bracelet, and will be informed when to return for the injection. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and begins at 8 am in Gilroy and at 8:30 am in San José.
Anyone 65 and older who lives in Santa Clara County is eligible, regardless of insurance, health care provider, or immigration status.
“If we want to recover from the pandemic, it starts right here on the east side of San José,” said San José Councilor Magdalena Carrasco.
Residents can also visit www.sccFREEvax.org for more information or to make an appointment.
“When it’s your turn, get vaccinated to protect yourself and your community,” said Rocío Luna, deputy director of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. “If you are 65 or older, now is your turn.”
Creating another option for people in the Bay Area, CVS on Thursday began offering appointments for COVID-19 injections at their local locations. Vaccinations will start on Friday.
Eligible individuals (65+ and healthcare workers) can book an appointment on CVS.com, by calling 800-746-7287 or through the CVS Pharmacy app. People can book an appointment for their second dose at the same time they book their first injection.
BART said Thursday it would offer free rides to anyone returning home from the Oakland County-Alameda Coliseum inoculation site after receiving a COVID injection. Health workers will begin vaccinating people in the Colosseum parking lot on Tuesday. The Coliseum BART station staff will give anyone with a new vaccination card a free $ 7 ticket.
“After receiving the vaccine, we will take you home,” wrote BART Board President Mark Foley in a press release. “BART is proud to help people get to and from their vaccination appointment and we applaud the Governor and the Biden-Harris Administration for selecting a location that is easily accessible in transit.”
Staff writers Fiona Kelliher and Emily DeRuy contributed to this article.