Starting this week, some Oakland seniors 65 and older — alongside food and agriculture essential workers, emergency workers, and education and childcare workers — will receive their vaccines near the Fruitvale district. And starting next Tuesday, the Oakland Coliseum is expected to open up as a mass vaccination site.
Alameda County officials and community advisors are concerned about equity in vaccine distribution. To that end, the County will be opening several community-based PODs or “points-of-distribution” in areas of high COVID infection and impacted populations. The first of these is at Fremont High School near the Fruitvale district and is for those in Phase 1a and Phase 1b, meaning those 65 and older, along with education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency workers such as law enforcement personnel.
The current hours there at Fremont High School is this Thursday to Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm, and this site will support multiple languages and also provide near same day appointments. Note: this site is prioritizing people who work or reside in the following zip codes: 94601, 94603, 94606, 94607, and 94621. Register on the county website or call the county health department for more information.
With regards to the Coliseum site, last month, the Coliseum Authority passed a resolution to allow the Oakland Coliseum to be used to quicken the vaccination pace in the East Bay. Then the Biden administration pressed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to set up 100 super sites across the country, with the first two in California. In a partnership pilot program with the State of California, FEMA announced on February 6th that the Oakland Coliseum would be one of these super vaccination sites, with the other site in Los Angeles.
Pentagon officials also announced last Friday that they will use 1,110 active military personnel to form five teams that will start up FEMA-run super vaccinations centers around the country. The coming site at the Oakland Coliseum is part of a two site pilot program for FEMA in partnership with the State of California and at least one military medical team will go to one of the sites, possibly the Oakland Coliseum as LA has already set up a super vaccine site at Dodger Stadium and Alameda County is working to set up its own vaccine site at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.
Dr Kathleen Clanon, the County’s COVID-19 Shelter and Surge Planning Director, said County staff were told on Feb 9 that FEMA will staff the Coliseum, and the first staff group will include 60 Forest Service personnel to help vaccinate the public.
FEMA also said each of these new sites will be paired with two mobile vaccination clinics which can be deployed to multiple under-served locations in areas that otherwise lack sufficient vaccine support.
On Feb 8th, Alameda County health officials announced they were moving to Phase 1b where seniors over 65 can register for vaccination appointments, as well as education and childcare workers, emergency services including law enforcement, and food and agricultural workers.
The Coliseum super site is expected to open on Tuesday, February 16, and eligible seniors and workers should register with the State registration site since Alameda County officials will not be running the site initially.
There are two ways to get vaccinated: the county COVID website and the state vaccination site, MyTurn.ca.gov, each with separate registration forms. The county’s registration forms are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese; the state site is available in English and Spanish. Once someone receives a shot, they need to stay with that provider to schedule a 2nd shot.
The State MyTurn site will start scheduling appointments in the next few days and the county will add appointments starting next week.
The county intends to open other community sites soon, some at city and county fire stations. Follow the county’s website for updates or register to receive notifications when it’s your turn.