Facebook launches vaccination site for underserved communities near Menlo Park headquarters

One of the world’s largest tech companies based in the Bay Area helped launch a vaccination clinic on the Peninsula Saturday.

Facebook is using a small portion of its Menlo Park Headquarters as a vaccination site.

Facebook has been one of the many tools people have been using to try to find those elusive vaccination appointments.

Taking things a step further, the company decided it wouldn’t just give information, but would be more hands-on in helping people getting vaccinated. 

The Silicon Valley company that popularized the poke, is helping people get a much sought-after poke in the arm with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Facebook partnered with Ravenswood Family Health Center to help scale up community vaccinations to the underserved.

Facebook transformed a small part of its Menlo Park headquarters into a vaccination site, bringing the company’s digital efforts into the physical world.

"Facebook has been working on COVID work for a while now on the platform. And having a commitment to connect 50-million people to the vaccine, so this is simply just an extension of those efforts off-platform," said Ashley Quintana, a Facebook public policy manager.

Eligibility is focused on 18-year-olds and up, especially essential workers, who live in three communities of color considered underserved. Those are East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks.

"These are communities that have seen high COVID cases over the course of the pandemic and various times have seen vaccination rates that are well below the county average," said San Mateo Deputy County Manager, Justin Mates.

To remove barriers to access, shuttles were provided to get people back and forth, and translators were on hand to assist.

Ethel Dabila, an essential worker, was one of an expected 1,000 people getting a first or second shot.

"I work in a restaurant, and like for health, I need the vaccine for my work and travel and everything," said Dabila.

No appointment is needed for the free vaccination, which is being offered at the Facebook location on Saturdays.

Facebook and its partners hope the clinic removes all barriers to getting doses to those who need them.

Gerardo Ibarra, there for his first dose, gave the effort a thumbs up and says he was there to do his part.

"We think it’s important that everybody get the COVID vaccine to stop the spread and get this under control so everybody can go back to living a normal life," said Ibarra.

Facebook could not give a date, but says it plans to continue the clinic into the foreseeable future, all contingent on vaccine supply.