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Del Mar Fairgrounds site up and running despite vaccine shortage

The new Del Mar superstation vaccinated over 500 people as it gets numbers up to the goal of 5,000 doses a day. This comes as the Petco Park site temporarily closes.

DEL MAR, Calif. — Packed with rows of orange cones in the parking lot, the Del Mar Fairgrounds opened this site as the newest vaccination superstation in San Diego County, but it had limited hours in its first few days and closed by early afternoon. County officials say it will have more times available as more vaccine becomes available.

"It's very tight right now in San Diego County,” said Chris Van Gorder, the Scripps Health President.

County health leaders are dealing with vaccine dosage delays as another large-scale vaccination superstation opens at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

"We are blessed we have enough right now for the next few days, and we hope we will get resupplied,” Van Gorder said.

The fairgrounds has 26 different stations inside, nine different lanes and also walk-in capability by appointment only.

"As we have seen with some of the vaccination centers, weather has played a factor, those windy storms that we had, so to have these large halls that allow for a drive in traffic, they allow for the air to move,” said Carlene Moore, CEO of Del Mar Fairgrounds.

More room in the North County while downtown, the Petco Park Superstation is shutting down for three days.

"We are saddened to hear the news that our supply was not coming,” said Dr. Marlene Millen, Chief medical information officer for ambulatory and affiliates at UC San Diego Health.

A Moderna shipment shortage across the state is impacting 12,000 people in San Diego County, mainly set to get their second dose. They're all being rescheduled via email for the following week around the same time. The Petco Park site is to reopen on Wednesday, and doctors says don't worry about the second dosage delays.

"It’s fine to get the vaccine up to 42 days after their first dose,” Dr. Millen said.

Four vaccination sites, including Dodger Stadium, closed in Los Angeles due to the shortage.

Governor Gavin Newsom spoke of the shot scarcity Friday in San Francisco.

"It’s simple, the answer is there are not enough vaccines coming to the state of California,” Newsom said.

Yet he announced the next round of people eligible to get the vaccine starting March 15, including those 16 and up, with disabilities or various medical conditions. The state expects a shipment of 1.2 million doses next week.

There are now 6 Superstations in San Diego County:

  • Petco Park
  • 565 Broadway in Vista
  • Grossmont Center
  • Del Mar Fairgrounds
  • Cal State San Marcos
  • Linda Rhoades Rec Center in Vista is opening Sunday.

"We also have the capability that should the vaccine supply be there, and the county needs it, we can expand into additional buildings here without them having to find another location,” Moore said.

Del Mar vaccinated 288 people on its first day and 588 more on Saturday with the goal to reach 5,000 or more per day.

"This is liquid gold,  every time we give an injection, we see people crying, certainly saying thank you, they know it’s hope,” Van Gorder said.

To view a vaccinate time slot available in Del Mar, visit the County's Vaccination site.

For San Diego County COVID resources, click here.

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