Signage has been going up and the streets are being painted this week around the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco as it prepares to open as the city's largest mass-vaccination site.
The large-scale vaccine clinic is set to open Friday, as KTVU reports, with an eventual capacity of between 7,000 and 10,000 vaccine shots per day. And for healthcare workers and residents 65 years old and up, appointments are available via the state's MyTurn site. Initial hours may be limited, but the Moscone site is expected to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. once it ramps up.
(Thanks to former SFist editor Brock Keeling for snapping some pics of the progress.)
Crews setting up 💉signage. pic.twitter.com/StBBF6wNPC— Brock Keeling (@BrockKeeling) February 3, 2021
"We are working every day to set up systems to get people vaccinated as soon as we have the supply,” Mayor Breed said in a release on Thursday. “I’m thankful to Kaiser Permanente for organizing this consortium, which is working with us to expand our vaccine network through this initiative at Moscone Center."
She added, "As vaccines come to our city, whether it’s through our Department of Public Health or our private health care partners, we need to do everything we can to move it quickly and efficiently. I know the consortium members have the experience, clinical expertise, and resources to help us reduce barriers to vaccine access and broaden opportunity for equitable, optimal health and well-being throughout San Francisco.”d
Ultimately, as more vaccine becomes available and more groups become eligible for the shots, Moscone Center will become one of the key hubs of vaccination activity for San Francisco, and the one with the largest daily capacity. A drive-through vaccination center launched two weeks ago at City College, and a third large-scale site is expected to open at the wholesale produce market in the Bayview. Smaller, community-based vaccine clinics are also opening, the latest being a walk-up site for Bayview residents only — where no appointment is needed — that opened on Tuesday.
It appears that the Moscone Center will offer both drive-up and walk-up options, but appointments are required — and all the logistical details have yet to be announced. It is being operated with Kaiser as lead provider, but the consortium of providers includes Adventist Health, the California Medical Association, CommonSpirit/Dignity, and Futuro Health.
Other mass-vaccination sites have been opening around the Bay Area in recent weeks, and another is opening on February 16 at the Oakland Coliseum.
But low supply of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines remain the biggest obstacle, with both Santa Clara and Napa counties having recently had to cancel thousands of vaccine appointments due to supply-chain issues.
Breed has said she will fight to get more supply allocated to San Francisco, but mayors and governors are saying similar things all over the country.
On the good news side of things, more companies are expected to bring their vaccines to the market soon. Vaccines from AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson & Johnson are in late-stage clinical trials, and by they time they get approvals and begin shipping, hopefully the country will have more vaccine than it needs.
Once again sounding like he's running for mayor, Supervisor Haney introduced an ordinance at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday aimed at pushing the SF Department of Public Health to increase its transparency around vaccine distribution — including demographic and neighborhood data — and demanding it creates a centralized online hub for vaccine appointments. So far, people are being directed to ask their healthcare providers, and there's been widespread confusion among the eligible about how to get a vaccine appointment because no such centralized system exists.
It's not clear if the MyTurn site is going to be that for all SF vaccination sites, or what.
Related: SF Opens First Drop-In Vaccination Site in Bayview, No Appointments Needed
This post has been updated with statements from Mayor Breed.