Del Mar Superstation Expanding Vaccinations: 'As Many As 10,000 A Day'
Demand continues to outweigh available supply, but with weekly doses increasing there is hope more vaccinations can be delivered in a race against the virus's variants.
"This is the light at the end of the tunnel and a real exciting day," said Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder.
Scripps Health operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination superstation, which recently has been closed intermittently due to lack of supply, but is now expanding operations. This comes as federal regulators have reauthorized the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, meaning San Diegans will soon have three options to choose from again.
The Centers for Disease Control found that despite rare reports of blood clotting, the benefit of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweighed the risks.
Van Gorder said the Del Mar superstation can easily do 5,000 vaccinations a day. They now and have moved into another building at the fairgrounds to ensure they can move through as many people as possible.
"We are now set up to do as many as 10,000 vaccinations a day and if we get the vaccine to do that, we can put a lot of vaccines in arms very quickly," Van Gorder said outside the site Friday.
He also said this site is good for expansion as many people are familiar with its location. This week county health officials reported the biggest jump in doses delivered from vaccine makers, 100,000 more, but it is unclear if that will be sustained.
"We’re still learning what the vaccines do with the variants so still wear your mask, still physical distance," said Scripps Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ghazala Sharieff.
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"The key is that they all prevent hospitalizations, severe illness and intensive care unit stays so whichever you choose to get, it will help you," Sharieff said.
As of Friday, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was not being used in Del Mar. A county spokesperson said at least 11,000 Johnson & Johnson doses are stored in the region, soon to be put to use.