FEMA in discussions with state to keep Oakland Coliseum vaccination site open, Harris aide says
OAKLAND, Calif. - The federally-run mass vaccination site at the Oakland Coliseum is set to close, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to keep it open, officials said.
That comes after California U.S. Senator Alex Padilla toured the site on Monday. Padilla said the goal is to keep the site open beyond the date it's supposed to close, which is Sunday.
"We have federal, state, and local governments committed to working together to extend the life at this site. The details in terms of who's the point of operations etc. are still being hashed out," Padilla said after his tour wrapped.
Padilla said three major details have to be worked out: funding, staffing, and getting enough vaccine doses.
"We don't have a final plan or commitment but the willingness of all parties to go forward. We still have several days before Sunday arrives to figure it out," the senator said.
The Coliseum site has given shots to about 15% of residents in the county since FEMA first opened the site seven weeks ago. The site has reached a large percentage of communities of color.
Oakland officials plead with FEMA to keep vaccination site open at Coliseum
Originally FEMA said it would only run the site for eight weeks and planned to close up shop on April 11.
"We have been very grateful for what they have done so far. But we are so close to coming to the end of this virus. We think it would be a shame if they stopped it right now," said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan.
Chan said Alameda County doesn't currently have the manpower to run the mass vaccination site or nor the vaccine supply. The county is opening up vaccines to anyone 16 years old and older.
"We don't have enough vaccines. They get about 42,000 doses a week. We don't have that much extra. We don't have any extra at all," said Chan.
But former FEMA Presidential Appointee Mark Neveau said the plan was never for government to run the operation long term, only to get it going until the county could step in.
"If they want to assume responsibility FEMA will help them get there. But they've got to take it on themselves," said Neveau.
If the Coliseum site does close, there are still many other locations people can go to get vaccinated in Alameda County.