race for a vaccine

Santa Clara County Opens New Vaccination Clinic at Eastridge Mall

NBC Universal, Inc. Another vaccination site has opened up in one of the hardest hit regions in the South Bay. The Aloha Roller Rink at Eastridge Mall in San Jose has been closed for almost a year because of the pandemic and on Friday, it’s home to a much-needed vaccination center. Damian Trujillo reports.

Santa Clara County on Friday opened a new COVID-19 vaccination clinic at a roller skating rink in East San Jose while also saying a supply shortage has made it difficult to get all county clinics up to maximum capacity.

In conjunction with Stanford Health Care, the county expanded its vaccination reach into underserved areas with the clinic at Eastridge Mall's Aloha Roller Rink, according to a news release. The clinic is in an area of the county that has seen some of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, officials said.

Initially, the site will open as a drop-in clinic with first-come first-served tickets provided to eligible residents. Next week, it will transition into a combination of appointment and drop-in availability, the county said.

Starting Monday, the site will be open seven days a week and offer some evening appointments, with a goal of reaching a capacity of 2,000 shots a day, the county said.

"Locating a mass vaccination site in East San José is how we will vaccinate our residents and workers who have been infected by COVID-19 in much higher numbers," county Supervisor Cindy Chavez said in a statement.

With the addition of the Aloha Roller Rink site, Santa Clara County has the capacity to vaccinate up to 12,000 people a day. The main obstacle continues to be the vaccine supply from the state. The county received less than the anticipated allotment this week, and the state hasn't offered an estimate of doses moving forward, county officials said.

As of Friday afternoon, all vaccine appointments through the County Health System were fully booked, and no new appointments can be made available for the week of March 7-13, county officials said.

The county added that it is working to ensure it can vaccinate all people who currently have appointments scheduled.