The Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton has been designated a COVID-19 vaccination site by Alameda County Public Health Department, and eligible residents can now schedule appointments through their health care provider to receive a vaccine.
Provided by Sutter Health, Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare and ACPHD, the vaccination center unveiled in central Pleasanton on Tuesday allows local residents who qualify via age or employment to sign up to receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine based on availability.
"The fairgrounds vaccine site will not only serve the eastern portion of Alameda County, but also provide access and convenience for Pleasanton residents as vaccine eligibility expands and become available," Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho told the Weekly on Tuesday.
"The more we are able to vaccinate our community in conjunction with continued safety protocols-mask wearing, maintaining social distance and washing hands, the closer we get to beating this virus so we can continue to safely reopen our economy and schools," he added.
Vaccines in Alameda County are currently only accessible for eligible patients who meet certain criteria established by state and regional health officials.
In Alameda County that means that residents can only receive vaccinations if they are 65 years old or above, or if they are currently employed as a health care worker, an education and child care employee, an emergency services worker such as law enforcement or an agriculture worker.
"These vaccination programs are essential to public health and will help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply is extremely limited and vaccines are only accessible for eligible patients with a prescheduled appointment," fairgrounds officials said in a statement. "We expect increased visitors as the vaccine becomes more widely available so please be patient when driving through the area."
Drop-ins are not currently allowed at the Pleasanton site, and all residents will need to schedule an appointment prior to receiving a vaccine.
Fairgrounds staff added that county health services are also in the process of establishing an "appointment portal" for residents to schedule a time and place to receive a vaccination.
To date, the county has also administered 249,898 vaccines throughout the county, that includes 186,256 first doses and 61,524 second doses -- both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses in order to become a fully effective inoculation.
Pleasanton residents account for 10,185 first round doses and 2,956 second round doses, according to ACPHD. Neighboring Livermore has had 9,169 first doses administered followed by 2,973 second, while Dublin has received 5,663 first and 1,948 second.
"While we work to vaccinate County residents, we urge everyone to continue the other measures proven slow the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and practicing physical distancing," Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County Health Officer, said in a statement. "These simple strategies are the best way for people to remain safe and to protect their loved ones and co-workers until more people are vaccinated."
Fairgrounds vaccines will be administered through "Parking Gate 8" off of Valley Avenue, near the Valley and Bernal Avenue intersection.
Residents can track the status of vaccinations and when they may be eligible to receive their own vaccine online at covid-19.acgov.org/vaccines.
According to ACPHD, as of Tuesday morning countywide -- including the city of Berkeley, which operates its own public health department -- there have been 78,714 reported cases of the coronavirus and 1,121 associated deaths.
That includes 3,936 coronavirus cases reported in Livermore, 2,020 in Pleasanton and 1,464 in Dublin.