On Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, Patty Maysent, CEO at UC San Diego Health, made a phone call.
“We had been strategizing with San Diego County leaders to determine how best to quickly and safely vaccinate the 500,000 health care workers in our region and concluded a drive-thru vaccination hub would be the best option? said Maysent. “Of course, a crucial detail was finding a location with enough space. Luckily, we have a great partnership with the San Diego Padres, so working with them, we developed a plan.’
Five days later, that plan resulted in the new Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park , which is now providing the COVID-19 vaccine to all health care workers in the region who are eligible for Phase IA-Tier categories on the state of California’s vaccine priority list.
Located at the Padres’ Petco Park Tailgate Parking Lot, the 280,000-square-foot vaccination site consists of 42 vaccination tents in which nearly 300 clinical and administrative staff members from UC San Diego Health are working to distribute the vaccine every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The County had previously established four smaller sites across the region that are administering hundreds of inoculations to health care workers daily and will continue to operate, but the Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park alone will enable up to 5,000 vaccinations daily, potentially continuing with subsequent phases once Phase 1A is complete.
“Ending this pandemic requires every tool available, from masking to testing to vaccinations,’ said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The effort to vaccinate more people more quickly requires the close collaboration of multiple partners—UC San Diego Health, the county, the Padres and others. By expanding our ongoing partnership with San Diego County, created through the joint leadership of County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and UC San Diego Health CEO Patty Maysent, this new combination of leadership, resources, expertise and logistics will bring optimal public health results for the benefit of everyone in San Diego County.’
For Jasmine Pablo, a local health care worker, having the vaccine available gave her hope.
“I want to be able to protect my coworkers, my friends, my family, everyone,’ said Pablo. “It’s really important.’
Pablo was the first health care worker vaccinated when the Petco Park site opened at 7 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. She was among the more than 2,500 health care employees vaccinated on the first day.
According to Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the County hopes to replicate this supersized vaccination site model across San Diego County.
“We’re extremely proud of San Diego for coming together during this crisis, leveraging the innovation and collaboration for which our region is known to support the health and safety of our entire community,’ said Maysent.
Currently, only health care workers in the region who are eligible for Phase IA-Tier categories on the state of California’s vaccine priority list can take part in the Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park. For more information, visit the County website.