With Bay Area ICU capacities now commonly sitting at single-digit percentages, the news of mass vaccination sites soon opening up across the region is a welcome update — and the three planned sites in San Francisco could collectively inoculate thousands a day.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) shows the most recent ICU capacity for the Bay Area — a region consisting of eleven separate counties, each with their own initial ICU capacity percentages — are at 3.4%. (That's low, yes... but not as abysmal as the 0.7% figure we saw earlier this week.) But respite from dwindling hospital beds is in the near future as San Francisco and Oakland begin to open large vaccination sites.
San Francisco is opening three high volume vaccination sites, as well as community sites across the City, coordinating private providers that have received doses directly from the state.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) January 15, 2021
The sites will be located at City College, SF Market in the Bayview, and Moscone Center.
“We’re ready for more doses, we need more doses and we’re asking for more doses,” Breed said in a Friday news conference announcing the mass vaccination centers, her frustration with the present vaccine rollout evident through the grainy livestream. “We can ramp up and open these sites the minute we have the vaccines. We’re mobilizing the entire city.”
According to City officials, three mass vaccination centers — one at Moscone Center, another at City College of San Francisco's main campus, and the last at The SF Market — could start opening as soon as next week, the City College location being the first; it's unclear when the other two locations will open.
"We are doing everything we can to help get people vaccinated as quickly as possible," Breed said in a statement about the network of COVID-19 vaccination sites. "The vaccine is the most important tool we have to end this pandemic once and for all, and getting people protected from this virus is our top priority.
.@SF_DPH is contacting and vaccinating people 65 and over who in the SF Health network, like Barbara Topps, who just received her first dose at one of our community clinics.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) January 16, 2021
Starting Tuesday, sign up to get notified when you're eligible to get vaccinated: https://t.co/KPyvOePvrY pic.twitter.com/f3M2iWf6nm
These vaccination centers are being created with partnerships with private healthcare partners and are expected to serve the "highest-need," most at-risk residents first. And starting Tuesday next week, denizens of the city can receive email or text messages to be notified when they're eligible to relieve the vaccine.
Per the Chronicle: once all three sites are operating at capacity, up to 10,000 doses of the vaccine could potentially be administered each day in San Francisco.
Across the Bay Bridge in Oakland, still-closed RingCentral Coliseum — formerly the "Oakland Coliseum" before its name was formally and officially changed last month — could become a mass coronavirus vaccination site.
In a Friday meeting, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority’s Board of Commissioners chose to create a specific task force that will oversee the Coliseum’s temporary conversion into a coronavirus mass-vaccination center, as reported by KRON4. The property's massive parking lot, which is made up of some 10,000 on-site parking spaces, might also be converted by private healthcare providers to help combat the pandemic.
Much like San Francisco’s mass vaccination sites, the proposed vaccine center at RingCentral Colosseum is set to open as soon as February — a pontification Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval is hoping to see to fruition.
“Hopefully we can get this going as soon as possible because it’s a great asset to our community,” Kaval added in Friday's meeting. However, it's worth noting that Alameda County Public Health Department still must approve using the Coliseum site as a vaccination center; only once the plan is greenlit by the county health department can doses be allocated for the planned vaccine site.
Mass vaccine distribution sites are essential, and should be opened now.— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) January 16, 2021
We also need access to this vaccine EVERYWHERE--pharmacies, clinics, mobile vans, grocery stores. We must meet people where they are, quickly, & deploy as soon as supply increases.
We can get it done.
Vaccine rollouts, both locally and nationally, have been the center of criticism as of late for their lackadaisical approach toward administering doses and helping the public assess their eligibility for receiving one. In San Francisco especially, residents have bemoaned the clumsy online portals and lackluster support systems navigating the City's vaccine rollout; similar instances in Oakland of people struggling to access COVID-19 information are also prevalent — which has only been exacerbated by emerging "pharmacy deserts" that largely affect BIPOC communities.
Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via Chaz Bharj