San Francisco Chronicle
Final innings for Coliseum vaccination site
The Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site will close May 23 after administering half a million doses of coronavirus vaccine, officials said Wednesday.
The site saw a “rapid reduction” in firstdose appointments in the last two weeks of April, Alameda County officials said in a statement. Appointment requests have dropped from 4,000 a day to 400, according to the county, which runs the site along with Contra Costa County and the state Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
The site will administer its last round of first doses on Sunday. Then it will switch to giving out only second shots in the twoshot series for the remaining two weeks.
The state Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency jointly opened the mass vaccination site Feb. 16 in hopes of reaching underserved communities in the area. After eight weeks and a bitter backandforth battle over dosage supply, FEMA left and handed control of the operation to state and local authorities while continuing to finance costs.
The nearly 42,000 shots a week had previously come directly from the federal government instead of through state and county allocation. After FEMA left, Alameda and Contra Costa counties contributed doses from their supplies to keep the site open. As such, it has been open only to residents of those counties.
When it first opened, the site offered both walkup and drivethrough appointments, but recently temporarily halted the walkup appointments because of diminished demand. Walkup appointments resumed this week for people needing their second dose, but will end after Sunday.
The Coliseum site’s scheduled closure comes as Bay Area health officials transition away from mass vaccination strategies and toward efforts, such as mobile clinics, that target people who may be difficult to reach or to persuade to get vaccinated.
“This marks an important milestone for our community. More than 70% of our residents have received at least one vaccination, allowing us to move away from mass vaccination,” said Colleen Chawla, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. “We can now shift our resources into additional focused efforts that will reach residents who are more comfortable receiving their vaccines from trusted community partners and deploying our resources deeply into the communities that have borne the brunt of the pandemic.”
According to demographic data released by the state, the mobile vaccination sites that the government deployed around the time the Coliseum site opened have been more effective at reaching underserved communities.