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Oakland Coliseum will remain open for COVID vaccine distribution

on April 9, 2021

Oakland’s most accessible COVID-19 vaccination site was set to close just days before California opens vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older.  But thanks to a combination of state and local efforts, people can still get shots at the Oakland Coliseum. 

While visiting Oakland on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the site would stay open. On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed that the state, along with Alameda and Contra Costa counties, would take over operations and administer vaccines for four more weeks. The site’s equipment and personnel will remain, but state and local supply will replace the federal government’s 6,000 daily doses previously provided. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and California’s Office of Emergency Services, which has co-run the site, planned to close it this Sunday after administering vaccines for eight weeks. Alameda County and state officials pleaded with FEMA for an extension and a continued vaccine supply directly from the federal government. But FEMA rejected the appeal.

The Coliseum has administered more than 200,000 shots so far. Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, said each week about 6,000 Contra Costa County residents, many of them teachers and essential frontline workers, receive vaccines at the Oakland Coliseum. 

Among Alameda County residents 16 and older, half have received at least one vaccine dose and nearly a third are fully vaccinated. The percentages are about the same in Contra Costa County.  

On Thursday, everyone but children and young teenagers will be eligible for the vaccine. The expansion will occur amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. The daily average of new cases in California recently rose from 2,482 to 2,850, but deaths decreased from 153 per day to 102. 

Vaccine appointments at the Coliseum can be made through the state’s My Turn scheduling tool or by calling 833-422-4255. The vaccination site is accessible from the Coliseum BART station. The South Berkeley Mutual Aid Project also offers rides to the Oakland Coliseum for South Berkeley residents.  

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Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to: oaklandnorthstaff@gmail.com.

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