A new Covid-19 vaccine site will materialize in the Lower Mission on Thursday, just in time for the deluge of Californians who will be newly eligible for inoculation: all residents 16 and older.
The Latino Task Force, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and union Laborers Local 261 will ring in the new site, which will use the union’s office at 3271 18th St., at the corner of Shotwell Street. Initially, it will have a capacity of 300 doses a day, said the Latino Task Force health committee chair Jon Jacobo.
As with the other Mission sites, residents will be able to find a walk-up vaccination appointment seven days a week — Wednesdays through Saturdays at the new 18th and Shotwell site, and Sundays through Wednesdays at 24th and Capp streets.
- The Shotwell site will run Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the union office at 18th and Shotwell streets.
- Sign up for a shot by visiting one of the other pre-existing Latino Task Force sites, at 24th and Capp or in the Excelsior at 20 Norton St., or by signing up after receiving Covid-19 testing at the Alabama Resource Hub or 24th Mission BART Plaza. Or, contact the Latino Task Force at email@example.com with your name and number.
- The Resource Hub at 701 Alabama Street, also operated by the Latino Task Force, has been registering those for shots as well. Drop by on Thursdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- To sign up for a Mission Wellness Pharmacy appointment, contact 415-826-3484 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or drop by the walk-up site at Cafe La Taza on Mondays through Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m., at 2475 Mission St. Spanish speakers are available. Mission Wellness is also seeking volunteers to assist with outreach to targeted populations.
- To see other neighborhood vaccination sites and options, go here. For general San Francisco information on eligibility and where to get a vaccine, go here.
Organizers said they are especially thrilled that the spot may attract more of the Lower Mission, which community organizers said historically receives less resources and attention than the Upper Mission.
“There are differences in the neighborhood, and it’s all about ensuring you’re providing access to folks who may not be able to come to another part of the neighborhood,” Jacobo said. “Or, it might just be convenient.”
In an attempt to address this earlier on, the Latino Task Force teamed up with the youth empowerment nonprofit HOMEY SF, and the local religious network Faith In Action Bay Area to bring Covid-19 testing to 18th Street. HOMEY SF and Faith in Action have been registering clients and referring them to vaccine appointments at Native American Health Center on 16th Street and 1800 Oakdale Ave., said HOMEY executive director Roberto Alfaro.
With the Shotwell site, not only is more of the Mission covered, but the new site’s hours start later, at 11 a.m., and extend until 6 p.m. in part to capture more day laborers.
Latinx and Mission residents have consistently been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, especially because conditions like working low-income jobs or living in crowded housing can increase the chance of passing or contracting the virus, medical experts said. For this reason, Jacobo asked that these neighborhood sites like Shotwell, Capp, and the one in the Excelsior, be prioritized for these populations or those who would be unable to schedule an appointment online.
“We’re not one of the mass vaccination sites. We welcome all folks, but we specialize in connecting with the harder-hit communities,” Jacobo said.
The city attempted this, too. Already, both San Francisco and Alameda County have begun allowing residents who live in certain underserved neighborhoods to get a shot ahead of the April 15 date.
Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax said in a statement to Mission Local that the city’s excited to bring vaccines to impacted communities like the Mission. “Our partnership with the Latino Task Force has been key in helping us reach community members who may have some trepidation about going to a more traditional healthcare setting,” Colfax said. “Sites like these offer a level of comfort and convenience that we hope encourages as many people as possible to get vaccinated.”
Like the other walk-up sites, the Shotwell location will give residents an appointment for a vaccination at Shotwell or Capp Street. And for Jacobo and other Mission natives, there are a few symbolic nods that come with this particular pop-up. The state’s call to immunize all residents 16 and older also coincides with a San Francisco celebration dubbed “415 Day.” April 15 or 415, a match with the city’s area code, 415, and a day residents have used to pay homage to those pushed out by gentrification. It’s a day revered by Mission locals, and so Jacobo and others deliberately tried to launch the Shotwell site on April 15.
“It’s symbolic. That’s one of the pieces that I am super excited about,” Jacobo said. “It’s the day that everybody’s eligible so it’s like — let’s celebrate the city, let’s celebrate life, let’s celebrate access to resources.”
Additionally, Jacobo said the Local 261 union used to have an office at the now-Latino Task Force Resource Hub on Alabama Street, which feeds thousands of families each week during the pandemic.
Organizers said there will be an opening ceremony that kicks off at the union on Thursday at 9 a.m., and shots plunge into arms at 11 a.m. sharp.
As vaccine eligibility expands, other Mission sites have availability, too. Though the Capp site mostly has appointments reserved for second shots in the coming weeks, as of April 11 it had nearly 1,000 slots open at its site for later in the month, according to one of the site leaders and former UCSF HIV nurse Diane Jones.