Marin County opens 1st drive-through vaccination clinic

Marin County has opened its first drive-through vaccination clinic.

Located at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, it is intended to be easier for people with mobility problems.

The clinic is a partnership between Public Health, the Golden Gate Bridge District and medical contractor Curative.

"I tried to get an appointment for about a month but as soon as this venue opened up it was pretty quick," said Vince Ippolito, as he drove away, happy to be vaccinated. "It was easy peasy, I got the Pfizer shot, and I didn't feel anything, it was great."

Traffic cones and numbered tents are arranged in the ferry parking lot, which is no longer crowded.

Ferries run limited service, with reduced capacity and lower demand as former commuters now work from home.

On the first two days of the new clinic, Sunday and Monday, about 400 people were served.

That is expected to climb to 1000 per day by the end of the week, with an eventual capacity of 2000 daily if supply improves. 

Marin and other counties are accelerating vaccine efforts, in a race against Covid variants that are emerging.

Those mutations could send infection rates back up again.

"In terms of these variants, we're still sort of scratching the surface, there's a lot of work to do," said Dr. Jake Scott, Infection Disease Specialist with Stanford Health.

Scott was reacting to findings from UCSF and its partners, who have been studying the positive Covid samples from San Francisco's Mission District.

Monday, they released findings that show a dramatic rise in the California Variant in the predominantly Latinx community.

Of some 600 January samples that were genetically sequenced, about half had the variant, compared to just 16 percent in November and December.

The variant appears to be more transmissible- especially within households- than the original coronavirus strain. 

"It's hard to say though, is it necessarily because the virus itself is behaving differently, or it a combination of social and human behaviors?" said Scott.

Public Health departments watch such research closely. 

"Well that's one of the reasons we're working to vaccinate as quickly as possible," said Laine Hendricks, spokesperson for the County of Marin.

"As those vaccines arrive we're getting them into arms in our communities." 

Larkspur's clinic adds to the hospitals, pharmacies, and walk-in clinics already operating.

"I got my first shot because we are considered health workers," said Vivalon shuttle driver Brian Jordan, available to take Smart Train passengers from the Larkspur station to the clinic. "It is a relief because I'm older and I don't want to get sick, obviously no one does."

For the time being, appointments are limited to residents 65 and older, as well as healthcare workers, with hours 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. 

Debora Villalon is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Debora at and follow her on Twitter@DeboraKTVU