Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site to remain open: VP Harris

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Lawmakers are continuing to try and make more COVID-19 vaccines available.

On Monday afternoon, California Senator Alex Padilla visited one of the Bay Area’s  mass vaccination sites at the Oakland Coliseum.

That facility will now be staying open after it was supposed to close Sunday.

This site vaccinates about 5,000 people everyday.

Vice President Kamala Harris says the facility will stay open, but there are still a lot of questions.

“The scale of this facility has helped us make tremendous progress here over the last several weeks,”

More than 30 percent of Californians have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Senator Padilla says that’s because of facilities like the one at the Oakland Coliseum.

“We’re going to continue to work together to extend the life of this facility.”

We know the facility will stay open beyond its original closing date on Sunday — That’s when the contract with FEMA runs out.  

Now, Senator Padillia, along with federal, state and local leaders are trying to figure out how it will happen.

“Who’s going to lead operations?”

“Number two where are the vaccines coming from and third how do we pay for this?”

On April 15th, all Californians will be able to make an appointment for their first dose.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chang says that makes this site even more important.

“This site has been valuable but we still don’t have enough. There’s still been a shortage, there’s still been people who have been searching and searching for appointment so we are worried when we do this astronomical opening on April 15th that without a site like this we will not be able to meet their expectations.”

County leaders say they are seeing less vaccine hesitancy and more people wanting to sign up for their doses.

In Alameda County the goal is 70 to 80 percent immunity — Right now they’re at about 20 percent.

Leaders believe this site will still be needed for months.

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