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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

COVID-19 Super Vaccination Site Opens In Chula Vista, Second in County

Speaker 1: 00:00 A new COVID vaccination, super station is opening today and officials hope it will bring much needed relief to the South Bay. The zip codes that make up San Diego Southern and border communities account for more than one fifth of all the COVID cases in the County. And overall more than half of the San Diego ones, who've tested positive for the virus have been Latino. The new vaccination center in Chula Vista is the second so-called super station opened in the County Chula Vista, mayor America CSLs took part in announcing the opening this morning and she joins us now, mayor Salus. Welcome. Speaker 2: 00:36 Thank you very much, Maureen. It's great to, to hear from you, where Speaker 1: 00:40 Is the Superstation actually located? Speaker 2: 00:43 The Superstation is located in the old Sears building at five 65 Broadway in Chula Vista. So, so many people are familiar with the old Sears site, uh, and they actually have been going there, um, for months now because it's also one of the first, uh, testing sites that was opened in the South Bay as well. Speaker 1: 01:03 Is it a drive-thru like the Superstation at Petco park? Speaker 2: 01:07 No, it isn't. We really felt that there were a number of people in our community that would find a walk-in very convenient for them because a lot of people don't own cars and the old sear site is, um, on transit lines. So it's available to get through, get to by bus, um, and there's ample parking there. So, but it is the walk-in facility. Speaker 1: 01:30 And how many people are you hoping you can get vaccinated there each day? Speaker 2: 01:35 So at full ramp up, um, we're expecting that we can vaccinate 5,000 people a day. They did have appointments this morning booked for 1800 people and who's administering the vaccines. So it's a combination we're in partnership with sharp Chula Vista hospital, the County of San Diego, and as well as our own, um, fire department is participating in this as well. So we have, um, trained and vaccinated our, most of our paramedics in the city of Chula Vista, who also happened to be firefighters. And so they will be part of those that are putting the vaccine in the arms of people, Speaker 1: 02:14 Vaccination resources for your community, been scarce before this. Speaker 2: 02:20 Um, yes, they have been. Um, but you know, this is really a bright light and a good day in the city of Chula Vista. Um, because now we have more plentiful vaccinations. And as a matter of fact, we really have to think sharp Chula Vista hospital as well. Their CEO, Papa Pablo villas, um, was really great and contacting, um, the city of Chula Vista that they had gotten a large supply of the vaccine and that they felt that, um, they, they could work with us as a partner to make sure that we got those distributed as fast as possible. Speaker 1: 02:56 And right now who's eligible to get vaccinated the Superstation well, right Speaker 2: 03:00 Now we have to, um, you know, follow the, the, the tiers of those eligible and phase one a. So that would include health care workers, those in long-term nursing facilities and as well as individuals, 75 years and older. Speaker 1: 03:15 And are there plans to expand that access to 65 and older anytime soon? Speaker 2: 03:20 Well, as soon as we get the okay to do that, um, that's, that's what we, that's the goal. Speaker 1: 03:26 And do people who want to get vaccinated there, do they just come in off the street or do they need an appointment? Speaker 2: 03:32 No, they must have an appointment before they come in. And, um, you know, I was at the operation center today and they've got a very good system set up for intake and then getting the people inside to the building to get their vaccination, but you must have an appointment. Speaker 1: 03:50 And what about sustainable vaccine availability? You said that you got a cash from, uh, to start out with, but have you been assured the site will have an adequate supply? Speaker 2: 04:02 You know, I don't know about that. And it depends on, you know, how the federal government, um, distributes is that the vaccines as they become available and how many vaccines the County of San Diego gets as well. So that is up in the air, but we are really hopeful that, you know, as vaccine projection vamps up that, um, president Joe Biden's goals will be met and that we will, um, vaccinate as many people as possible and that there will be plentiful supply, but that's still in the coming Speaker 1: 04:35 Mayor. Is there a sense of urgency among people in Chula Vista to get access to the vaccine, or are there concerns about its safety? Speaker 2: 04:44 I think that for the most part, people are really, um, really thankful that we've got this site open and they're really looking forward to it. I know that my office has received communication on a daily basis. People inquiring about when and where the vaccine will be available. So I know that this is something a lot of people are really wanting. Now, is there a small segment of the population that still is resistant to getting the vaccine? Yes. There always will be those few that are skeptical, but I truly believe that, um, you know, the, the, the research was done well that th th the scientific methods that were used in developing this vaccine are sound. Um, as a matter of fact, I have a 97 year old mother. She is a person that I love dearly. Um, probably the most important person in my life because she's like a baby to me now. Speaker 2: 05:37 Um, I have so much confidence in the efficacy of this vaccine that I'm taking her to get back vaccinated. If I can trust the vaccine to take care of my mother than other people should feel that confidence as well. I'm so proud of our city for being really part of the solution to this puzzle. It takes all of us to get beyond this vaccine. You know, we recently, uh, have, have decided to take our ambulance service in-house. And what we are planning to do is, um, outfitting our new ambulances that we'll be getting on board very soon and actually establish mobile a mobile means of getting those ambulances to people that are shut into their homes so that they can get vaccinated as well. Mayor Salus, thank you so much. Thank you. Speaker 3: 06:34 [inaudible].

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Officials hope a new COVID-19 “Vaccination Super Station” in Chula Vista will bring much needed relief to the South Bay. Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas joined Midday Edition to speak about the vaccination site.
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