race for a vaccine

Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Opens in San Mateo County

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Starting Monday, San Mateo County began offering a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic for eligible health care workers and vulnerable residents.

The clinic -- which uses the Moderna vaccine -- opened at 1 p.m. at the San Mateo County Event Center at 1346 Saratoga Drive in San Mateo. By that time, the line was building and eventually would snake through the event center's large parking lot and onto surface streets.

Vaccinations are available only to workers and residents eligible under Phase 1A of the state's vaccine distribution guidelines. That phase includes the following groups: those at risk of COVID-19 through work at health care or long-term care settings (including non-clinical staff), and residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and long-term care settings for older or vulnerable individuals.

San Mateo County's Board of Supervisors president David Canepa announced the mass vaccination clinic in a statement Monday.

"This is the best news I've heard in a long time and shows that the dark days of winter will be over soon," Canepa said.

People interested in being vaccinated at the drive-thru site must complete an online form to confirm eligibility. Registration and appointment information will be available once eligibility is confirmed.

The clinic was open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

There are approximately 38,000 health care workers and 12,000 long-term care residents in the county. Bill Silverfarb, policy adviser to Canepa, said approximately 12,000 people have been vaccinated from the county's vaccine allocation of 22,000 so far. That does not include workers within medical systems like Kaiser Permanente or Sutter Health, which have separate vaccine allocations.

Silverfarb said the clinic is expected to continue as long as there are vaccine doses available. The second vaccination dose will be available in four weeks via a similar clinic.

People in Phase 1A who have health plans through Kaiser Permanente may obtain the vaccine through their primary care provider at Kaiser.

For more information on Phase 1A vaccine eligibility, people can visit the San Mateo County health web page.

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