With the federal supply of COVID-19 vaccine increasing, the County of San Mateo is launching weekly mass-vaccination clinics for anyone who lives or works in the county beginning this Thursday, April 29, at the San Mateo County Event Center.
Coupled with ongoing smaller-scale and community-focused vaccination clinics in specific neighborhoods, the return of drive-through mass vaccination efforts will help boost the county’s vaccination rates.
“Very soon we believe we will have enough vaccine for everyone who wants it, and we hope that is everyone in this county. The reopening of our mass vaccination site this week and continuing to provide doses to our community-based clinics in our most vulnerable neighborhoods means we can get more shots in more arms,” said County Manager Mike Callagy. “The more vaccinations we can get out there quickly, the safer this county becomes and the sooner we can move forward to our new life post Covid 19. We need to have everyone think of this vaccine as a life saving measure that moves us closer to normalcy.”
The County plans to operate two to three mass vaccination weekly events going forward, depending on supply, with the Event Center site capable of administering approximately 4,000 doses in a day.
Appointments for the first-dose clinics are open to anyone 16 or over (for Pfizer clinics) or 18 or over (for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson clinics). Participants must live or work in San Mateo County and must make appointments up to three days in advance, and residents under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Event Center clinics are drive-through only. Sign up for appointments via the States’s MyTurn system at myturn.ca.gov.
Through the San Mateo Medical Center, County Health has also begun receiving approximately 10,000 doses per week through a federal program of the Health Resources and Services Administration. The doses will be used by the Medical Center, in mass vaccination efforts, and in continuing to target populations of homeless, farmworkers and residents in communities where vaccination rates have been lower than the county average.
First- and second-dose community clinics will continue in North Fair Oaks, East Palo Alto, San Mateo, Daly City, El Granada and Half Moon Bay. These County-sponsored clinics are supported by outreach from community-based organizations and trusted messengers.
This week, San Mateo County Health will also resume its use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following direction by federal and state bodies over concerns about possible clotting issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday gave the greenlight to use Johnson & Johnson, a position endorsed by the Bay Area health officers.
How widely the vaccine is utilized in operations will depend on supply and will be guided by these practices:
When clinics are scheduled and appointments offered, the available vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) will be made clear.
During a vaccine clinic, participants will be informed which vaccine is being administered.
If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is offered, residents will be informed that it is their choice to receive it and that they can choose other vaccines at other clinics and times, including by other vaccinators.
After the administration of any vaccine, residents will be provided patient-centered information about risks and side effects.
As of April 26, 2021, 444,776 residents, or approximately 69.4 percent of the total eligible county adult population, have been vaccinated, according to the California Immunization Registry. In the lowest Healthy Place Index (HPI) census tracts, 55.8 percent of eligible adults have been vaccinated. Of the 115,058 residents 65 and older, 88.5 percent have been vaccinated.
More information on County vaccination opportunities and contact information for non-County Health providers offering vaccines is available at https://www.smchealth.org/covid-19-vaccination-program-overview
The California Department of Public Health’s fact sheet on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available here.