OAKLAND, Calif. - U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) on Monday will tour the Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site in an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
However, by this Sunday evening, the Coliseum will no longer be offering any vaccinations, despite efforts from Alameda County officials to keep it running.
Padilla will discuss the upcoming expansion of vaccine eligibility to Californians 16 years and older, which goes into effect on April 15.
But coincidentally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will shut down the vaccination site at the Coliseum, which the agency co-operates with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
FEMA had planned to only keep the Coliseum operating for eight weeks, and that term expires on April 11. The Coliseum administers about 42,000 vaccines a week, more than the 30,000 doses Alameda County administers.
FEMA said it's appropriate to close the site, because soon California will be getting thousands of more doses, and the federal supply will not be necessary. But if those doses do not arrive on time, Alameda County supervisors worry there may be a vaccine supply shortage.
"It was the extra vaccines and the staffing that really helped us out," said Wilma Chan, the health committee chair for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
On Friday, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and Colleen Chawla, director of Alameda County's Health Care Services Agency, both sent letters to a FEMA administrator asking for a four-week extension on keeping the Oakland Coliseum vaccination site running, and then allow Alameda County to take over running it.
FEMA denied their request.