More mass vaccination sites opening around Bay Area

The Moscone Center in San Francisco is among the growing number of mass vaccination sites cropping up in the Bay Area.

Crews have been working to prepare the San Francisco site for a week.

It’s set to open for appointments on Friday, and when it does, it will be the city's largest mass vaccination site. San Francisco already has two others; one in the Bayview, the other at City College. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom and other federal and local leaders announced a plan to turn the Oakland Coliseum into a mass COVID-19 vaccination site by Feb. 16. 

They proudly touted the site as part of a partnership between the state and the federal government to speed up vaccine distribution – and get more shots into arms. The Coliseum is located in east Oakland – one of the communities hit hard by the coronavirus. A second such partnership site is also going up in Los Angeles, at CSU. 

"The whole idea is to speed up the throughput, the efficiency, maintain an equitable lens in the application and distribution of these vaccines," said Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

"The vaccines that have been given out so far have overwhelmingly gone to white people and those with the most privilege," said Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan. 

Kaplan added that it's clear that  African Americans and the Latino community "have been underserved so far and that our underserved neighborhoods need to be prioritized for the use of this site."

Also in the East Bay, another drive-thru and walk-up site will open on Friday in Albany. 

The city of Berkeley is coordinating the vaccinations at the end of Buchanan Street in the parking lot north of the Golden Gate Fields near Albany Beach to offer appointments for residents of Alameda County 75 and older. It's a temporary location open through Feb. 8. As of Thursday morning, there are appointments available on Sunday and Monday.

And in San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Event Center has shifted from being used for administering COVID-19 tests to giving out vaccines. This week, San Mateo County Health's vaccine allocation will be used at the Event Center to vaccinate eligible individuals age 65 and older, such as those covered by the Health Plan of San Mateo.

The Event Center clinic will take place Wednesday through Friday and has the capacity to vaccinate 2,000 people per day.

From Feb. 8 to 11, and again Feb. 13 and 14, the clinic will provide second doses for about 14,000 individuals who would have received the first dose in January.

Larger health care providers like Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health/Palo Alto Medical Foundation have begun vaccination for individuals 65 or 75 years and older. As of Tuesday, Kaiser and Sutter/PAMF had vaccinated just over 10,000 individuals each in San Mateo County.

CVS and Walgreens have together vaccinated 7,865 individuals so far, through a federal partnership that provides vaccination to assisted living facilities.