Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the Oakland Coliseum — technically now RingCentral Coliseum — mass vaccination site will continue operating for four more weeks past its scheduled sunset date, which was on April 11.
FEMA had been managing the site with the help of the state's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) — as one of two federally managed sites, along with one at the Cal State LA campus — but FEMA is now moving on. The sites were part of an eight-week "mission" by FEMA and the Biden-Harris Administration to serve communities most in need in the pandemic, and the Coliseum site transitioned in late March to only administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The site has been vaccinating more than 6,000 people per day, and a release from FEMA said that the two sites "outpaced that initial expectation and regularly administer more than 7,500 shots per day."
But vaccinations remain hard to schedule throughout the Bay Area, where vaccine demand is high overall. And now Alameda and Contra Costa counties have entered into an agreement with the state to each provide a quarter of the daily vaccines for the site, with the state providing the other half, for the next four weeks.
"We are proud to continue operations at the RingCentral Coliseum site with our local and federal partners,” Newsom said in a statement. “I’d like to thank our partners for stepping up to support the Bay Area community — especially those hit hardest by this pandemic.”
Reportedly, the site has been especially good at achieving the state's equity goals, and 68% of 316,000 vaccines administered there have been to people of color and communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
"In the fight against COVID-19, equity is key," said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. "This pilot program has shown the rest of the nation a forward-leaning way to serve our communities most in need. We could not be more pleased with the success of these sites or the partnership we have built with our federal partners."
Vice President Kamala Harris was in Oakland last week and said the site would be kept open, implying that FEMA may be staying on. But that won't be the case.
And, as Alameda and Contra Costa counties said in a joint statement Monday, the four-week agreement also covers four mobile vaccine clinics as well.
"Alameda County is grateful for the continued partnership with Cal OES and we welcome our Contra Costa County partners," said Keith Carson, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, in a statement. “The Coliseum site has already delivered more than 100,000 doses to Alameda County residents, and this extension will allow us to complete transition feasibility planning without disrupting service to the community."
And, as a result of the partnership, the Coliseum site is fully open to Contra Costa County residents as well as those in Alameda County, and many San Francisco residents have received shots there as well.
Alameda County opened up vaccine eligibility Monday to all residents ages 16 and over — with those ages 16 to 18 only approved to get the Pfizer vaccine. San Francisco is allowing everyone 16 and up who lives in eight zip codes to get vaccinated at two drop-in sites this week, and all SF residents (16+) become eligible on Thursday, April 15.
Appointments at the Coliseum and other mass-vaccination sites can found at MyTurn.ca.gov. The Coliseum site will continue running through May 9, Monday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., and it offers both drive-through and walk-up appointments.
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