SAN JOSE, California (KRON) – With the announcement of more COVID vaccines in Santa Clara County, the city of San Jose and community partners came together to host a vaccination clinic in downtown city hall.
“Someone called it a race against the variants. The longer we leave people unvaccinated, the greater the chance the virus will mutate,” said Sarita Kohli, president and CEO of Asian American for Community Involvement.
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“So it’s really important to get as many people as possible vaccinated. It’s part of an effort to reach a very large community of several people in a single day.”
Working with multiple community organizations, the clinic targeted the city’s most vulnerable populations to keep the community safe.
Kohli tells KRON4 News that 800 to 900 people would receive a vaccine through the clinic.
“Access to vaccines for these two communities has been very, very difficult. So we partnered with the city of San Jose and about 20 nonprofits to bring the unhoused here and provide them with the vaccine, ”says Kohli.
“And other resources like food and also connect them to social services.”
Another 100 people with disabilities received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine through the clinic.
The nonprofit Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC) helped some of these people get into the City Hall vaccination clinic.
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“This was a population that was underserved to find vaccination sites,” said Sheri Burns, SVILC executive director.
“And since it’s a local area on a bus route, the main routes are easier for people to get to here. It was wonderful.”
Members of the San Jose Fire Department (SJFD) helped give the vaccines and were on standby in case anyone had a bad reaction.
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“It is very important for the city, the fire department and all these communities to help with the vaccination process,” says Cesar Martinez, captain of the SJFD.
“And we are able and happy to provide the staff we need for this purpose.”
Despite a hiatus in the administration of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, the entire county has seen a significant increase in vaccine supply.
Earlier this week, county officials announced that the county had received more than 300,000 cans from the federal government.
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“We’re seeing a lot more vaccines in our community, which allows us to have a lot more of these pop-up clinics in the community,” says Burns.
“And so we have been able to work with some organizations like Safeway Pharmacy on Branham Lane, AACI Today, and the San Jose Regional Center to have many more events like this one.”