The City will partner with Unidos en Salud/United in Health, UCSF and Latino Task Force, to operate the first neighborhood vaccination site in the heart of the Mission District
San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, the Department of Public Health, Unidos en Salud/United in Health, UCSF, and the Latino Task Force announced today the opening of a new neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site at 24th Street and Capp Street in the Mission District. The 24th Street site, which will be followed shortly by a neighborhood vaccine access site in the Bayview, is the first of a number of neighborhood sites that the City will be opening to ensure that highly impacted neighborhoods have equitable access to the vaccine.
The goal of Mayor Breed’s vaccination strategy is to make receiving the vaccine as convenient and comfortable for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Neighborhood vaccine access sites, such as the 24th Street site, are one critical piece of a larger network of vaccination distribution that also includes high-volume vaccination sites, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams.
“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our Latino community, which is why it’s so important that we’re bringing these vaccines directly to the neighborhoods that have been hit so hard,” said Mayor Breed. “We’re ready to administer 10,000 vaccines per day here in San Francisco as soon as supply increases through our network of high-volume vaccination sites, as well as a series of neighborhood sites that will provide easy access to our diverse communities throughout the City.”
Today’s site opening will be a soft launch while operations are refined to ensure safety for patients and staff and while necessary infrastructure is put in place to allow the site to scale up as more vaccine supply becomes available. Given that supply of the vaccine remains extremely limited, vaccinations at the 24th Street site will be by appointment only. Initial appointments during the soft launch phase will go to community health workers and local residents over the age of 65 within the Unidos en Salud network, which includes uninsured vulnerable populations.
The site will have an initial capacity of 120 vaccinations per day and, when vaccine capacity increases, this site may expand to conduct 200-400 vaccinations per day. The 24th Street site has the additional benefit of being adjacent to a significant transit hub, ensuring that it is accessible and convenient for the community health workers and other eligible people that it will serve. It also will be co-located with the Unidos en Salud testing site at the nearby 24th Street and Mission Street BART plaza, operating four days a week.
The Mission District is home to many Latino residents and essential workers and has been one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19. Testing continues to show that the Latino community is experiencing high rates of new infection, with recent testing revealing that more than one in ten Latinos who are tested test positive for COVID-19.
“We are proud to continue the productive partnership with UCSF and the Latino Task Force, and extend our vaccination efforts into the heart of the Mission District. As a community-based site co-located with existing testing capacity, the 24th Street site is a model for how we can reach every community in San Francisco. Along with ongoing commitment to public health measures such as mask wearing and social distancing, a broad and equitable program to distribute the vaccine across San Francisco can bring this pandemic to an end,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the Department of Public Health.
“Among the many grim legacies of the previous failed federal administration is that states and counties are now struggling with shortages that have made a mess of the vaccine rollout,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “Over the past two weeks, my office has been fielding a flood of questions about who is eligible and how to access. I am pushing for consistent and transparent data so we know what UCSF, Kaiser, Sutter, and Dignity are doing and every San Franciscan can get vaccinated. Amidst all that, I am thrilled that San Francisco is bringing vaccine directly to the most vulnerable people in the hardest hit community. Let this be the start of a bright new chapter.”
“We know that interest in getting vaccinated is very high in the community,” said Dr. Diane Havlir, a professor of medicine at UCSF and a co-founder of the Unidos en Salud Latino Task Force/UCSF/DPH collaboration. “We asked more than 5,000 adults who came for testing last month at the 24th Street BART plaza, and 86 percent said they were open to getting vaccinated.”
“We at UCSF are eager to continue our ongoing partnership with the Mayor and the Department of Public Health to help protect our City’s most vulnerable communities from COVID-19,” said UCSF Chancellor Dr. Sam Hawgood. “By continuing our collaborative community testing programs, and now making vaccines available in high-impact neighborhoods where the virus is spreading quickly, we can prevent more suffering and help to protect the entire city from this virus.”
In addition to the 24th Street site, the City continues to locate vaccine resources in neighborhoods that have disproportionally carried the burden of COVID-19. In addition to neighborhood vaccine sites, the Department of Public Health and its community partners continue to vaccinate people through community clinics in the Western Addition, Chinatown, Bayview, Outer Sunset, and Potrero. The City is working to expand neighborhood vaccine sites to the Bayview, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley and other neighborhoods with the highest infection rates for COVID-19 and limited access to health care services. Additionally, the City is partnering with Safeway pharmacies to bring vaccines to various neighborhoods.
On January 22nd, the City launched the City College of San Francisco vaccination site, which is the first high-volume vaccination site in San Francisco and will serve as many as 3,000 people per day when supply increases. This site, along with others announced at the Moscone Center and the SF Produce Market in the Bayview, will be able to accommodate over 10,000 vaccinations per day once vaccine supply, which remains extremely limited, increases. These high-volume sites were chosen in part for their proximity to neighborhoods in the southeastern part of the City that have been most heavily impacted by COVID. These sites will serve anyone, regardless of their health coverage status or provider.
“Today is an important milestone in our fight to combat COVID-19 and it is because of our collective partnership and trust in each other that we are able to bring forth vaccines directly to a population that has been painfully and disproportionately impacted through this pandemic,” said Jon Jacobo, Health Committee Chair of the Latino Task Force.
The distribution of a national vaccine during a pandemic is an unprecedented event, and the Department of Public Health is partnering with healthcare providers to have as many people vaccinated as fast as possible, while following the federal and state guidelines for prioritization. In the meantime, it is critical that all San Franciscans continue to follow all public health recommendations to wear a mask when not in your home, cough into your elbow, wash your hands, keep 6 feet from others whenever you must be in public places and help your local health department collect information to inform people of possible infection. These steps will help protect you and those around you while COVID-19 is circulating, and, along with the vaccine, will be essential to ending the pandemic.
Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco can sign up for a notification when they are eligible for vaccination at SF.gov/vaccinenotify. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine in San Francisco at: SF.gov/covidvaccine.