While San Francisco and other counties are pausing vaccinations at their mass vaccination sites, in Alameda County, it’s all systems go for the federal mega site at Oakland Coliseum.
On Monday, FEMA and CAL OES had a soft launch administering vaccines to Oakland police and the people who will be working at the site when it opens on Tuesday.
So, what can seniors and essential workers who’ve made an appointment expect?
A CAL OES spokesperson on site said first responders with OPD and on-site staff who will be processing and vaccinating people received the vaccine. In an interview provided by California’s Office of Emergency Services, Assistant Director of Recovery Operations Grady Joseph explains why the Coliseum is the perfect vaccine site.
“We can make sure that we’re able to effectively serve populations with vehicles, and then obviously those who lack access to cars,” Joseph said.
He explained that the eastern side of the lot will be dedicated to walk-up appointments, and that area is close to BART and AC Transit. Both just announced they will provide free daily vaccine shuttle rides to the Coliseum.
BART will be handing out free $7 BART tickets to ride back home for anyone who just received their vaccination at the Coliseum. AC Transit will offer free shuttle service into the Coliseum for people heading there for their vaccination.
“These sites have really been set up to reach populations that generally have a harder time getting access to good medical care,” Joseph said.
FEMA says the goal is to vaccinate 6,000 people per day, and that the vaccine supply is reliable. This is because the supply isn’t coming from the county but from the federal government. Weekly shipments have been set aside specifically for the Coliseum.
“We’re really approaching both of these sites from the lens of equity and making sure that individuals who historically have a tougher time accessing are kind of front of the line for these,” Joseph said.
He said that the goal is to get everybody through the line in no more than an hour.
Vaccinations will begin being administered from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.