In partnership with San Diego County and the San Diego Padres, UC San Diego Health established the “Vaccination Super Station” near Petco Park on Monday, Jan. 11. The site hopes to accommodate the approximately 500,000 healthcare workers in the region and is set to offer 5000 doses a day to eligible healthcare workers, such as physicians, nurses and technicians as part of Phase 1A.
Upon arrival at the Super Station, healthcare workers are expected to show proof of their eligibility and are required to stay in their vehicle. After the vaccine has been administered, there will be a 15 minute window to ensure no side effects are present in the patient.
The super station comes as a surge of New Year’s cases have overwhelmed hospitals in Southern California. In some areas, there are dire circumstances where there is zero percent ICU capacity. The situation in San Diego County is not as adverse comparatively, as hospitals in the area maintain a ten percent ICU capacity as of Jan. 17.
However, San Diego County has also seen a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases according to the County’s data. As recently as Jan. 16, 24,842 San Diegans tested positive for COVID-19 on that day alone.
UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla stated that the united effort of UC San Diego Health, the County, the Padres and other groups will garner the desired increase in vaccination distribution.
“Ending this pandemic requires using every tool available, from masking to testing to vaccinations,” Khosla said. “The expanded effort to vaccinate more people more quickly requires the close collaboration of multiple partners — UC San Diego Health, the County, the Padres and others. This partnership’s unique combination of leadership, resources, expertise and logistics will bring optimal public health results for the benefit of everyone in San Diego County.”
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, who represents both Petco Park and the UCSD area, said that the opening of the site will benefit local efforts to ramp up vaccinations.
“Opening this supersized vaccination site will be an important milestone in the state of California’s COVID recovery when it opens on Monday,” Fletcher said at a board meeting on Jan. 11. “With UC San Diego Health assisting this new regional partnership, we will get vaccines into the arms of healthcare workers much faster.”
The distribution phases are guidelines set by the CDC to help determine who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. While the concept of these phases have been implemented nationwide, California and other states have released different guidance based on the their state’s needs. The qualifying criteria for California is regularly modified and updated by the California Department of Public Health.
The next in line to receive the vaccine will be those under Phase 1B-Tier 1, which includes patients age 75 and older, as well as workers in education, childcare, emergency services, food and agriculture. The following Phase IB-Tier 2 includes patients ages 65-74 as well as those in specific occupations, along with homeless and incarcerated populations.
Colin, a UCSD freshman student from Muir College and healthcare worker, discussed his experience with getting vaccinated. He did not provide his full name to the UCSD Guardian.
“I felt only soreness in the arm and the vaccine shot itself was less [painful] than the flu [shot],” Colin said. “However, with Pfizer and Moderna, you still need to [take precautions] as the first shot will only give you half the immunity, while the booster shot which is scheduled 28 days later will give you the full coverage. If given the chance, everybody should get [the vaccine] as soon as possible so that we can return to a more normal environment.”
UCSD Health encourages healthcare workers to first contact their healthcare providers to request the vaccines, but if none are available, they should make an appointment for the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Super Station. If you are a senior who is 65 and over with underlying health conditions, please visit your local healthcare provider to schedule an appointment for the vaccine at another location.
UCSD students are encouraged to sign up on My Chart in preparation for future vaccine administration to students. There is currently no specific timeline for when college students can receive vaccinations.
Picture courtesy of UC San Diego News Center