Oakland’s Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan Applauds Positive Response to Request to Extend Oakland Coliseum Mass Vaccination Site and Mobile Vaccination at Community Sites
Oakland, CA — Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan thanks the State government leadership for responding to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum JPA Vaccination Task Force’s request — and agreeing to continue to support our communities impacted greatly by COVID-19, by extending the Oakland Coliseum Mass Vaccination site, and the related mobile vaccination outreach programs, for an additional four weeks. Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the State, in partnership with the health departments of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, will extend vaccine distribution operations at the Oakland Coliseum and mobile vaccine sites until May 9, 2021. This is an important extension as they had previously planned to close this week, on April 11th — which would have been prior to the date that most California residents become eligible to be vaccinated, which will be on April 15th.
Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, along with her colleagues on the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority (“OACCA”) Vaccination Task Force subcommittee, were greatly concerned when FEMA and California Office of Emergency Services (“CalOES”) announced they were scheduled to close on April 11. On April 15, 2021, all California individuals over the age of 16 will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Had the Coliseum site closed this week, it would have placed our local communities in greater difficulty to receive vaccination with the loss of 7,500 shots per day administered at the site, and the closure of mobile vaccination sites that operate in partnership with the coliseum site. The mobile sites are doing a better job reaching hard-hit underserved communities by working with and at local churches and other community-based organizations. With this extension, both the main coliseum site and the mobile vaccination sites at community-based organizations will be able to continue to operate to the benefit of the community. Kaplan has been leading the vaccination task force, and working together with the County and other leaders to expand access for hard-hit communities to vaccine, and to improve equity outcomes, including with mobile vaccination to better reach underserved Black and Latino communities.
Earlier this week, Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan had sought an extension in a letter co-signed by other local leaders, stating:
“We write to you as local leaders who have been deeply involved in the work of expanding COVID vaccination efforts, including through the launch of the Oakland Coliseum vaccination site. We helped negotiate and launch the related mobile vaccination programs, together with local community-based organizations such as churches, which have substantially improved the work to reach underserved communities.
We appreciate the important collaboration that has gone into the work to make COVID vaccine more available. We know, as COVID cases are again surging in various locations throughout the country, that it is vitally important at this time to continue and expand efforts to ensure hard-hit communities are vaccinated timely.
Thus, we are extremely concerned about the upcoming plan to cut off the vaccine supply for these vital efforts, just as they have begun to truly reach our hardest-hit communities. We appreciate your statement that the County can take over coordinating vaccination at the Coliseum site. We do not object to the goal of this transition. However, this work cannot succeed unless it has access to a supply of vaccines.”
Now, the State officials have confirmed that they, in partnership with local County health leadership, will continue to provide this vital work through May 9th, and will continue to work together with the local community to ensure access to vaccinations.
“I am thankful to all those who worked with us to advocate for the State to extend the Oakland Vaccination site and community Mobile sites. I also appreciate the work of Alameda County to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in our communities, and the partnership with local churches and community organizations to ensure that our highest impacted communities are included.”
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