Vaccine site available to East Palo Alto residents starting Friday

East Palo Alto City Councilmember Antonio Lopez (right) volunteers at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto, Calif. on Jan. 30, 2021. (Courtesy City of East Palo Alto)

All East Palo Alto residents 18 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a permanent clinic starting Friday.

Officials said Friday that the clinic is not yet permanent and have retracted their earlier statement that it was. 

East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez wrote in an email that the site is not yet permanent, but "ongoing" and the city is optimistic they can use the site with "greater frequency and cadence."

The clinic takes place at the Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle 
School at 2450 Ralmar Avenue from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The city plans to host the clinic on an ongoing basis.

The clinic is a partnership between the Ravenswood City School 
District, the City of East Palo Alto and the County of San Mateo. 

Lopez said in a statement that the vaccine clinic is a "life-changer" for the community.

"Without overstatement, this permanent vaccine site will be a 
life-changer for our residents, many undocumented and without access to health care," Lopez said. "Not only will we be ensuring the safety of our residents through this site; we will empower them to return to work, to school, and in a word, to some semblance of normal."

Given the city's young population, opening eligibility to all 
adult residents will help speed up vaccination rates, which are the lowest in San Mateo County.

Only 27.5 percent of the East Palo Alto's population is vaccinated 
compared to 44.9 percent countywide, according to county data.

The clinic Friday and Saturday will also be the first time the 
city administers the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine, with the capacity to give 500 shots each day.

Lopez will speak at a news conference Saturday at 10 a.m. at the 
Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School, along with Councilmember Regina Wallace-Jones, who advocated for local testing when she was mayor last year.

Residents of East Palo Alto are encouraged to sign up for an 
appointment and walk-ups are also welcome.