First mass COVID-19 vaccination site opens at City College despite limited supplies

San Francisco on Friday launched the city’s first high-volume COVID-19 vaccination site at San Francisco City College—set to help the...

San Francisco on Friday launched the city’s first high-volume COVID-19 vaccination site at San Francisco City College—set to help the city reach its goal of vaccinating all residents by June.

The vaccination site at the college’s main campus on Ocean Avenue is being operated by the city and staffed with UCSF health care workers. For now, however, appointments will be by invitation-only as supplies remain limited and the city secures more vaccines.

Once fully operational, the city hopes to be able to vaccinate up to 3,000 per day at the site. Then, once more vaccine doses are secured, the city hopes to ramp that number up to 10,000 people daily.

“Large vaccination sites like this one at City College are going to be critical for getting people vaccinated quickly and safely, and getting our city on the road to recovery,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “San Francisco has a plan and we are ready to distribute 10,000 doses per day once we have enough vaccine. To fully deliver this plan, we need more vaccine and we will continue to do everything we can to be ready when our supply of vaccine does increase.”

A nurse leans into a patient’s vehicle to administer a shot. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A nurse leans into a patient’s vehicle to administer a shot. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

According to city officials, the City College site is the first of three planned vaccination sites. Two other sites set to open in the coming weeks are in the works at the Moscone Center in the South of Market neighborhood and the SF Market in the Bayview.

After opening all three sites, the city is hoping to expand vaccination efforts to other neighborhoods like the Mission, Western Addition and Chinatown, with a goal of eventually vaccinating virtually every resident by June.

San Francisco Department of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax called Friday’s launch “an important milestone” in bringing the pandemic to an end.

“While vaccine supply coming to San Francisco remains extremely limited, this site, and the other high volume vaccination sites that will be opening in the coming weeks will provide the physical space, medical personnel, and logistical processes to efficiently deliver the vaccine when it becomes available,” he said.

Because the vaccine is being distributed to health care providers through the California Department of Public Health, the city has little control over the delivery process.

Patients line up in their cars to get vaccinated. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Patients line up in their cars to get vaccinated. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Under the state’s vaccination plan, Phase 1A includes health care workers and residents at long-term care facilities. Next, Phase 1B Tier One includes people 65 and older and those who work in food, agriculture, education, childcare, and emergency services.

City officials said, the city still needs at least 420,000 doses of the vaccine to complete Phase 1A and vaccinate those 65 and above.

The city is encourage those who live or work in San Francisco to register at www.sf.gov/vaccinenotify to be notified once they’re eligible to receive the vaccine.

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