SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom joined San Diego leaders at the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station Monday, one of the many locations administering COVID-19 vaccinations in communities across the state.
The governor held his daily COVID-19 update on the infield of Petco Park, during which he said San Diego "inspired others all throughout the state of California" with its vaccination super station, where about one-third of all county residents who have been vaccinated received their doses, according to officials. All can administer up to 5,000 doses a day. However, the reality has been far fewer because of continued vaccine shortages that officials blame on limited manufacturing and federal distribution.
“The issue of scarcity is the issue that we are all mindful of. It’s an issue that has now increasingly been brought to the fore all across this country,” said the governor. “We are sober and mindful of the scarcity that is the number of available vaccines in the United States of America. Nonetheless, we are not naive about our responsibility here in the state of California to move these vaccines out of the freezers and into people's arms.”
Newsom said the federal government has begun to provide states with a three-week outlook to help better manage appointments. Previously, San Diego County leaders said they often received only a day’s notice before shipments arrived.
California expects to receive about 1 million doses this week and about 100,000 more the following week. Traditionally, doses are allocated proportionally based on a county’s population.
“We need to see that ramped up. We're going to need to see more doses coming into the state of California in order to keep these mass sites operational and to keep things moving,” said Newsom.
The continued supply shortages occurred as Petco Park transitioned from a first dose to a second dose distribution site. The site has given out the Moderna vaccine, which requires two doses, four weeks apart. The first dose was given on Jan. 11.
Other vaccine sites are still offering appointments to first time recipients.
In addition to addressing supply issues, Newsom said the state will announce new guidelines for people with underlying health conditions later this week. They were previously left out of guidelines when the state announced it would move to an age-based tier system after completing Phase 1B – Tier 1.
Newsom also said the state will announce a contract with Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente on Feb. 15. Details are limited, but the deal is expected to name both third-party administrators who will help with vaccine distribution and administration.
The County's Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park opened Jan. 11. The site inoculates roughly 5,000 persons each day. As of Sunday, more than 100,000 people had received their first doses of vaccine at Petco.
Petco Park will transition into offering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for those that wish to get vaccinated. This means that people who received their first initial dose of the vaccine in January can make an appointment to receive a second dose at Petco Park.
The operation is the result of a partnership between the County, UC San Diego Health, San Diego Padres and the City of San Diego to help vaccinate thousands of the 500,000 people in Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
County, UC San Diego Health Seeking Volunteer Vaccinators
The County is looking for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professional staff to be COVID-19 vaccinators when more doses of the vaccine arrive in the region.
The volunteers will be part of the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), established in 2002 to assist during disasters and public health emergencies. Those interested can learn more or sign up here.
“We need to have as many vaccinators as possible to help us immunize people when the COVID-19 vaccine is more readily available,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “The volunteers will help us get the vaccine into people’s arms, which will greatly help slow the pandemic.”
Another site opened at U.C. San Diego Monday morning, as the super station at Petco Park will switch to the second doses. UC San Diego Health is also looking for volunteer vaccinators to work at the Vaccination Super Station for health care professionals in Phase 1A, that opened this week at Petco Park. More volunteers are needed to vaccinate health care workers as the pilot program ramps up its efforts to vaccinate 5,000 people daily.
Volunteers will provide unpaid support as needed, and at the volunteer’s availability, primarily in the local jurisdiction. There is currently a high volume of spontaneous volunteers, so the County is asking volunteers to be patient as their MRC application is being processed.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution, visit coronavirus-sd.com.