As concern grows about slumping demands for vaccines, Santa Clara County health officials have decided to step up its vaccination efforts to target a specific group of people that seems less interested in getting the shot; the youth.
The Santa Theresa light rail station has seen a severe ridership drop since the pandemic started, which left huge parking lots empty and made the sites a logical choice for a drop-in vaccine site.
The new vaccination site at the VTA rail station opened up to replace the neighborhood's Bay Area Community Health Clinic which was overwhelmed with people wanting to get their shot.
Officials say the new site at the VTA station has vaccinated at least one thousand people on four different days and has helped ease a major problem; access.
South Bay resident Marisol Valencia-Hernandez is getting her COVID-19 vaccination after her aunt got sick from coronavirus.
"I said ‘if she could have had this opportunity, I know she would have done it for her children'."
She is one of the many people who got their shot at the new VTA site.
"It’s easy access. The cones are guiding you, so there’s no way to get lost.”
The county health department still wants more people age 16 to 29 to get vaccinated. Only 57% of that group has gotten at least one shot, which lags behind other age groups.
Dr. Victor Salazar said misinformation about side effects is one the reasons.
“Side effects, or some effects, from the vaccines can happen," Dr. Salazar said, "but the risk-benefit of vaccine will be much better than not having the vaccine.”
VTA still plans to do more to reach that specific age group, including a public campaign to make more light rails riders aware of this site.