As the state of California surpasses 30 million residents vaccinated, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a shift away from mass vaccination sites.
Due to the new focus on a “community-based” approach, the Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site will close May 23, according to a joint press release from the state’s Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. Requests for first-dose appointments at the site have decreased to 400 per day, as compared to 4,000 per day previously, the release added.
As of press time, more than 70% of Alameda County residents have received at least one dose, according to Alameda County Health Care Services Agency director Colleen Chawla. Beginning May 10, the site will be operated by the county and only offer second doses until its closure.
“We can now shift our resources into additional focused efforts that will reach residents who are more comfortable receiving their vaccines from trusted community partners and deploying our resources deeply into the communities that have borne the brunt of the pandemic,” Chawla said in the press release.
In place of mass vaccination sites, the state will now move toward working with local clinics and other programs to help increase access to vaccines for vulnerable groups.
One such program is the “Get Out The Vaccine” phone bank and door-knocking campaign, which employs individuals in particular communities. These individuals work to provide resources to help others get vaccinated, and the program has resulted in more than 4,900 scheduled appointments, according to a press release from Newsom’s office.
Other programs include the provision of grants to local health jurisdictions based on county population size as well as partnerships with philanthropic organizations such as the Public Health Institute and Sierra Health Foundation.
“These enhanced efforts aim to meet people where they are while building upon California’s ongoing commitments to ensure that equity is guiding our overall strategy,” said California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris in the press release.