Newest vaccine super center will open Friday at Del Mar Fairgrounds

The Del Mar Fairgrounds
The Del Mar Fairgrounds
(San Diego Union-Tribune)

A COVID-19 vaccination super center will open at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Friday, Feb. 12.

Fairgrounds officials announced during a Feb. 9 board meeting that the state-owned venue would be providing vaccines by the end of the week.

“We’re just extremely honored and excited to be working with Scripps Health on this,” fairgrounds interim CEO Carlene Moore said during the meeting.

The fairgrounds will offer drive-through and walk-in service by appointment only. Residents 65 or older and health care workers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday, according to a news release from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Operating hours will be added based on the availability of vaccine doses.

There have been nearly 250,000 cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County since the beginning of the pandemic, including nearly 3,000 deaths. The rate of positive tests to total tests has steadily decreased over the last month, county data shows.

Fairgrounds board member Frederick Schenk said the process of preparing the state-owned venue for vaccine distribution was “not seamless,” but praised fairgrounds staff for making it happen.

“This is going to make a huge difference in the lives of hopefully thousands and thousands of people,” Schenk said.

County Supervisor Terra Lawsom-Remer said in a statement that the fairgrounds super station will be “the next major part of our regional vaccination strategy.”

“Our biggest challenge right now is vaccine supply, but we are preparing this large venue to ensure we are ready to ramp up vaccination distribution as quickly as possible when more doses become available,” Lawson-Remer said.

Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder added that the fairgrounds will provide “a new tool in the battle to control and diminish the COVID-19 pandemic locally.”

“We are ready to expand beyond the smaller vaccination clinics we’ve been able to offer to Scripps patients over the past few weeks,” he said in a statement. “All we need is a supply of more doses to vaccinate more people.”

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