As part of Santa Clara County’s efforts to reach disproportionately affected communities, the county opened another vaccination site in East San Jose on Friday.
The new East Valley location of the Valley Health Center on McKee Road is near the Regional Medical Center and other services in East San Jose.
District officials said the place has the capacity to vaccinate a few hundred people a day.
“In Santa Clara County we face inequalities in the distribution of vaccines by going directly to our residents who are disproportionately affected by COVID and vaccinating them where they live,” said Cindy Chavez, the county director Representing Central and East San Jose.
Chavez said its location is ideal because the people who work on-site understand the community, its language, and culture – an understanding that is critical to building residents’ trust and thus increasing the number of vaccinations.
This latest addition is also part of the county’s effort to increase capacity as immunization eligibility expands on Monday.
At the end of the month, workers in childcare and education, emergency services, and food and agriculture qualify for the vaccine.
From March 15, people aged 16 and over with at least one severe health condition can register for vaccination appointments.
“The county’s health care system is leading the way in vaccinating our county, despite tremendous logistical and insurance challenges,” said Otto Lee, county director. “We are committed to achieving the goal of ensuring that vaccine access is equal in our different communities, and locations like the East Valley Clinic will help us get there.”
As of Friday, the county had vaccinated nearly 177,000 first doses and nearly 60,000 second doses, with about 60,000 appointments scheduled over the next seven days.
Around 18 percent of the district’s 16-year-old and older population and more than 50 percent of the district’s 65-year-old and older population received at least one dose.
Dr. Rocio Luna, deputy district manager for the Santa Clara district, said the latest readings were “significant progress” in vaccinating the most vulnerable.
Regardless of the care, which is not under the county control, Luna said the county has the ability to vaccinate its residents.
Appointments for the East Valley Clinic and other vaccination sites can be made through the county website at sccfreevax.org or by calling 211.
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