The Oakland Coliseum will serve as a mass vaccination site as part of a pilot program announced Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Biden administration.
The Coliseum, home to the Oakland Athletics, is one of two sites chosen for the pilot program in California, with the other at California State University, Los Angeles. They are part of a wider effort to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the Biden administration’s first 100 days, officials said. The sites will be co-run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
"In the fight against COVID-19, partnership is key, especially when it comes to reaching Californians in underserved areas," Newsom said in a statement. "These new sites will help us get available supply to some of the California communities most in need. I thank the Biden Administration for standing with us as we continue our efforts to safely, swiftly and equitably vaccinate all Californians."
The two locations are in some of the most diverse and socioeconomically challenged communities in the country and are communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the governor's office said. They also are home to essential workers who have borne the brunt of keeping the economy open during the pandemic.
The Coliseum, which will provide at least 6,000 shots a day, is expected to open to those eligible for the vaccine starting Feb. 16. Registration for vaccine appointments at the site will be available through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system in the coming days, the governor's office said.
A's general manager Dave Kaval and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, along with other local officials, were on hand at Wednesday's news conference announcing the new pilot program.
“We are proud to partner with local and national officials to do our part, and we are grateful to the individuals whose efforts at this vaccination center will help our community move forward,” the team said in a statement on Twitter.
Both sites will be paired with two mobile vaccination clinics, which can be deployed to multiple locations to amplify and provide distribution to areas that otherwise lack sufficient support, the governor's office said.
The state assured that the vaccine doses used at the Coliseum will not decrease the vaccine supply at other sites in Alameda County.
A mass vaccination site will also open in the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A Kaiser Permanente spokesperson said the site will be open Friday, by appointment only, to healthcare workers and people 65 and older. At full capacity it’s expected to deliver up to 10,000 vaccines per day.