CONCORD, CA – Health officials hope to hit COVID-19 like a hurricane with the mass vaccination site now up and running at Hurricane Harbor.
At its peak, Contra Costa County will administer up to 16,000 doses a week in the effort to get all residents fully vaccinated.
The site offers all three vaccines by appointment at stations set up in the parking lot of the outdoor water amusement that has sat idle since it was ordered closed one year ago. Those receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will automatically get an appointment for the second dose.
The figure now stands at about 375,000 residents still needing the vaccine, with 80 percent of residents choosing to get it.
Making an appointment
The first step in the appointment process is submitting the interest form through www.cchealth.org. Officials ask that recipients do not arrive to Hurricane Harbor before designated appointments times in order to avoid traffic jams leading from Willow Pass Road. The parking lot for Hurricane Harbor, 1950 Waterworld Parkway, opens for the day’s first appointments about 7:45 a.m.
Wait time is 30-45 minutes upon arrival to the waterpark. Drivers will undergo a pre-screening for allergies. Once each car is told to pull up to an available station, county health, Kaiser and National Guard personnel will request information.
If the recipient of the jab happens to be a passenger, that person can get out of the vehicle and sit in a chair to receive the vaccine at the station. Afterward, drivers pull forward to an observation area to ensure there are no adverse reactions to the vaccine and to receive support if necessary.
16 and older
The county’s mass vaccination operation is the first in the state to allow individuals as young as 16 to receive the vaccine. Those underage need a verbal or written consent by a parent.
County deputy health officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli said it was a simple decision to open the site up to a wider population. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved the vaccines for individuals 16-49, so Tzvieli said there was no reason not to move forward to get the county to a post-pandemic state faster.
Concord Mayor Tim McGallian voiced pleasure that his city, the largest in the county, was able to serve as a staging area for this important effort. He echoed others in attendance at a press conference in encouraging family and friends to help those who might not be as tech savvy to get signed up and make appointments as soon as possible.