A new UC San Diego Health vaccination site opened on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, at the Recreation, Intramural and Athlete Complex (RIMAC) on Hopkins Drive. The site will be offering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to eligible UC San Diego Health patients, employees and community members in accordance with San Diego County’s public health criteria.
In a statement released by UCSD, Chancellor Pradeep Khosla praised the university’s partnership with San Diego County in opening the new site and its efforts to combat the pandemic.
“The opening of a new vaccination site at RIMAC represents another opportunity to partner with the County of San Diego to end the pandemic,” Khosla said. “UC San Diego Health is a statewide leader in vaccine distribution. Our continuing partnership with the County and the opening of this new superstation are parts of our overall commitment to establish the San Diego region as an exemplar for vaccine distribution.”
The RIMAC site operates in collaboration with the County of San Diego, San Diego Padres, and the City of San Diego. This is the second such vaccination partnership between the university and local authorities, with the first one being the vaccination superstation at Petco Park which opened on January 11, 2020 and has inoculated over 100,000 people.
UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent said that the opening of the new superstation will allow for quicker distribution of the vaccine in San Diego.
“Widespread deployment of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is one of our most powerful tools for ending the current pandemic,” Maysent said. “Adding a vaccination center on the UC San Diego campus allows us to expand outreach and vaccinate more people more quickly, while working within the current tier structure.”
The RIMAC site is set to operate seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will be run by medical personnel, staff from UC San Diego Health, and volunteers. Vaccinations will be issued through an invite on the MyUCSDChart application for UC San Diego Health patients and qualifying university personnel, while university employees should expect emails to be sent to their UCSD accounts for further information.
Inoculations at the RIMAC superstation will be done indoors. In its statement, UCSD said that the site has been built to ensure maximum safety for patients and volunteers.
According to California vaccine distribution numbers as of Feb. 14, San Diego County has administered over 590 thousand doses of the vaccine. This makes it second only to Los Angeles County, which has vaccinated more than 1.5 million people.
As of Jan. 23, 2021, the following individuals qualify to receive a COVID vaccine at the RIMAC site under state guidelines:
Phase 1A-Tier 1: Acute care and psychiatric, skilled nursing facilities, paramedics, EMTs, dialysis centers, staff in behavioral health residential facilities, vaccinators
Phase 1A-Tier 2: Intermediate care, home health care and in-home supportive services, community health workers, public health field staff, primary care clinics, and staff in behavioral health non-residential or outpatient facilities
Phase 1A-Tier 3: Specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental/oral health clinics, pharmacy staff, funeral workers, and others
Phase 1B-Tier 1: Persons aged 65 years and older, those at risk of exposure in Emergency, Childcare and Education, and Food and Agriculture
Phase 1B-Tier 2: Those at risk of exposure in Transportation Systems and logistics, Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Sheltering Facilities and Services; Critical Manufacturing
Currently, only those eligible in accordance with the California Department of Public Health will be vaccinated at the RIMAC site at this time. To check your eligibility, please visit the San Diego County website or the California state COVID-19 website.
Photo taken by Steven Calista for UC San Diego