As the city gears up to open vaccine eligibility to residents 50 and older on Thursday, April 1, the Mission’s neighborhood vaccination site is also extending its stay and a second site is in the planning stages, according to health officials and workers involved.
The two-month old vaccination site at Capp and 24th Streets, now offering 420 shots a day, will remain open for at least another two months. The Unidos en Salud operation — an alliance between the Latino Task Force and UCSF — also includes the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
A second vaccination site — under a partnership between the Latino Task Force and the Department of Public Health — will also launch next month. The date and location have not yet been set, but organizers said it would likely be ready to serve the lower Mission, north of 20th Street, around April 15. That is the date that all residents 16 and older become eligible for a vaccine.
“We want to make it easier for the residents in the lower Mission to get vaccinated,” Jon Jacobo, head of the Latino Task Force’s health committee, said on Sunday. Jacobo had just visited a third vaccination site in the Excelsior, where DPH and the Latino Task Force organized a soft launch of another neighborhood vaccination site.
Like the site at 24th and Capp streets, residents and workers using the lower Mission site will be able to walk up to make an appointment, and might also be redirected to another site nearby with more vaccines. At present, the Capp Street site shuttles residents to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, which offers an average of 1,400 doses a day.
In addition, Unidos en Salud will continue to run covid rapid tests at the 24th Street BART station, though the demand for tests has fallen off and the site is down to one testing station.
Diane Jones, a leader at the Capp Street site, said Unidos was preparing for a social media and media blast to get the word out about the new group of residents who become eligible April 1. Already, Unidos has done extensive on-the-ground outreach and will continue to do so.
While positivity rates have fallen citywide and in the Mission District, Jones, data scientists and others are expecting a surge to follow as the city continues to re-open. Indoor dining is now at 50 percent capacity, and non-essential offices are opening with limited capacity as well.
“The testing can scale up if we face a surge,” said Jones, who quickly corrected herself: “not if, but when.”
This surge differs from others, as it will occur amid the vaccination campaigns. That makes it more difficult to predict the likely severity of the surge. This time around, many of the most vulnerable residents have been vaccinated, said Peter Khoury, a data scientist who lives in the Mission and maintains a covid data dashboard. Still, he said, he would be cautious.
“If I were king, I would just pause everything,” Khoury said. “I wouldn’t do any more opening … I would see if these projections go up.”
The R number, the rate of covid reproduction, has edged above 1 for the first time since January. That trajectory can spell exponential growth in transmission rates.
Walk up reservations in the Mission:
Capp and 24th Street is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Sundays through Wednesdays.
The testing site at the 24th Street BART station is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays.
Find out about online reservations here.