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Vaccine Shortage To Close Petco Park Site Again Through Tuesday

A sign stating

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: A sign stating "Vaccine Site Closed" stands outside of the Petco Park's Vaccination Super Station, Jan. 25, 2021.

A shortage of vaccines will close Petco Park COVID- 19 vaccination super station beginning Saturday and through Tuesday, it was announced Friday, even as San Diego County prepares to expand vaccine eligibility to half a million people.

According to UC San Diego Health, which runs the county's largest vaccine site at Petco Park, county officials are closing the site because of the shortage of the Moderna vaccine and all appointments for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be rescheduled. People who were scheduled can check their MyUCSDChart account — the health system's electronic notification system — or email for details.

The site will resume limited operations on March 3 and 4.

It is the third time in as many weeks that the site has had to close due to vaccine shortages.

Curious how the vaccine rollout is going in San Diego County? KPBS is tracking the progress.

The closure comes at an inopportune time, as more than 500,000 emergency services, child care and education and food and agriculture workers were scheduled to be able to receive vaccines beginning Saturday.

On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher had a positive tone about the direction of the pandemic and vaccine rollout. Cases continue to decrease, as do hospitalizations and positive test results. Yet the demand for vaccines continues to far outpace supply.

The county's existing doses will be largely reserved for second doses. Other vaccination super stations and smaller points of distribution will continue to administer second doses this weekend and into next week, as supplies allow.

On Wednesday, Fletcher did caution that appointments would not be immediately available to everyone who qualifies.

"We need folks to be patient," Fletcher said Wednesday, adding that the county will prioritize K-12 schools in ZIP codes hardest hit by COVID-19.

Video by Roland Lizarondo

As part of efforts to spur the reopening of schools, Fletcher said 20% of vaccine doses will be prioritized for teachers and school staff, as opposed to the 10% outlined by state leaders.

The county will set up appointments directly with K-12 school districts, Fletcher said, while all others who fall into phase 1B — including education and child care workers outside of K-12 campuses — can schedule appointments through typical public means such as the county's website.

Of 938,765 vaccine doses the county has received as of Friday, 832,800 have been administered, with more than 8,500 awaiting documentation and 97,400 yet to be administered. Of the county's population over the age of 16, 20.2% have received at least one dose and 8.7% — or 232,958 people — have been fully inoculated.

San Diego County public health officials reported 519 new COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths Thursday.

Thursday's data increased the cumulative totals in the county to 258,982 cases and 3,260 deaths.

Of 18,830 tests reported by the county, 3% returned positive. The 14- day rolling average dipped from 4.6% Wednesday to 4.4% Thursday.

RELATED: US Advisers Endorse Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine From J&J

Hospitalizations decreased from 602 on Wednesday with 187 people in intensive care beds to 569 hospitalized and 184 in ICU beds Thursday. One month ago, there were 1,465 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 408 of whom were in the ICU. There are 52 available, staffed ICU beds in the county.

There were seven community outbreaks reported Thursday, part of 30 in the past week tied to 120 cases.

On Sunday, a site will open in Lemon Grove, operating from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. The site will be at the Lemon Grove Community Center, 3146 School Lane. When fully operational, the Lemon Grove clinic will be able to administer 500 doses daily.

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