A new vaccination site has opened at Gilroy High School, Santa Clara County officials announced Wednesday.
The new site will have the capacity to vaccinate about 1,000-2,000 residents per day in a city that has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Nearly 12 percent of Gilroy's population has had COVID-19, said Deborah Flores, superintendent of the Gilroy Unified School District.
Gilroy also has the highest rate per 100,000 of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, and its neighboring city Morgan Hill follows in second.
"With such a high rate of community transmission, making vaccines available to our residents is essential in the fight against COVID-19," Flores said. That's why she believes Gilroy High School is an excellent location to ensure vaccine access.
"[It] is a well-known site in the South County, with two large gyms, a large parking lot and it's very accessible," Flores said.
The site will operate as a walk-in site and will have mobility services available for those who need assistance getting from their car to inside. It is unclear how long the school will remain open for vaccinations, but county officials confirmed that it would not interfere with students returning to campus.
"We will find additional locations if needed to ensure that we're not interfering with any school operations," Dr. Jennifer Tong Associate Chief Medical Officer for the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said.
Currently, vaccinations are available to health care workers, residents 65 and older and those in long-term care facilities. But in a week, eligibility will expand to workers in childcare and education, emergency services, and food and agriculture.
This site is part of the county's efforts to provide adequate capacity to vaccinate all those who want it.
"We are all in this together. Vaccinations are the key to healing and our returning to normalcy," County Board of Supervisors President Mike Wasserman said. "Until more people are vaccinated, please double down on your efforts to stay safe. Wear your masks, don't gather and get vaccinated when it's your turn."
To learn more about vaccinations in Santa Clara County or to schedule a vaccine appointment, visit sccfreevax.org or call 211.