San Francisco Bay Area county opens mass vaccination site, advises about vaccine side effects

Ed Walsh

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San Mateo County Events CenterSan Mateo County Department of Public Health

A San Francisco Bay Area county is opened a mass vaccination site on Thursday, April 29, and it is also offering advice over concerns for vaccine side effects. Currently the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are avaiable in the US but many people are reporting side effects particulary after the second Pfizer and Moderna shots.

San Mateo County is opening the San Mateo County Event Center as a mass-vacination site starting on Thursday, April 29. The county stated that it would operate two to three weekly events going forward, depending on supply. According to San Mateo County health officials, the Event Center has the capacity to administer approximately 4,000 doses in a day. The county says you must live or work in San Mateo County to be eligible to receive a vaccine there.

Making appointments at the San Mateo County Events Center

The San Mateo County Health Department says appointments are accessed via MyTurn. You can make an appointment for the Event Center clinics will be available approximately three days before the date of the event for anyone who is registered in MyTurn and lives or works in San Mateo County.

"County Health’s allocation of vaccine from the State improved by 29% to 14,390 doses this week, and San Mateo Medical Center received approval from the federal government to receive a direct supply of up to 10,000 doses per week," said Louise Rogers, chief, San Mateo County Health "This really changes capacity and enables us to once again mobilize a high-reach drive-through vaccination opportunity at the SMC Event Center 2-3 times a week, as well as continuing our focus on locally targeted vaccination efforts in the communities that have had the lowest reach. We are also pleased to have the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine available to administer again following a thorough review by the federal government and the Western States’ Scientific Review. 

"With everyone age 16+ eligible to be vaccinated and a more predictable vaccine supply, we are now in a phase of reaching every resident through the many pathways available to make it as easy as possible. It is so heartening to see in the State’s immunization registry data as of 4-26-21 that 445,776 residents are vaccinated with 707,327 doses, about 69.4% of our total eligible County population age 16+. Those vaccinated are 54.2% people of color, 38.6% white, and 7.2% unknown race/ethnicity. Among older adults, the collective vaccination efforts have reached more than 88.5% of residents age 65 plus."

On its Web site, San Mateo County appeared to downplay concerns about side effects of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

"Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. COVID-19 vaccines will protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness.

"It typically takes a few weeks after the last dose in a series for you to become fully protected. On the days after taking the vaccine, you may have a sore arm, aches, fatigue or fever, but these are not harmful. These symptoms signal that your immune system is developing protection from the virus."

Heath officials throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have reiterated that the side effects from the vaccines are much less of a risk than of contracting COVID-19.

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