Delta looks to become vaccination site for county

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On Jan. 23, University of the Pacific held a vaccination clinic for health-care related staff and students, as well as faculty and staff who are 65 and older, per Centers for Disease Control and San Joaquin County distribution guidelines. Photo courtesy of University of the Pacific.

Delta College is in talks with San Joaquin County to become a COVID-19 vaccination site.

According to Alex Breitler, Director of Marketing, Communications and Outreach, the institution has had preliminary discussions with county officials about logistics.

“That process is still ongoing and we really don’t have any specific details yet about how this might work or a possible timeline,” Breitler said. “Once we know more, we will absolutely let everyone know.”

A total of 34,025 doses of the vaccine have been allocated to San Joaquin County as of Jan. 15. Of those, 17,104 doses have been administered, based on data provided by San Joaquin County Public Health Services.

The county is currently in Phase 1A of its COVID-19 vaccine schedule, in which priority is given to hospital staff, medical first responders, long-term care staff and residents, and people over the age of 65.

In the next phase, Phase 1B, priority will be given to frontline essential workers including education, childcare, and food and agriculture.

San Joaquin County is expected to enter Phase 1B some time between early February to late March, as reported by San Joaquin County Public Health Services.

A mass vaccination event held on Jan. 17 at the Robert J. Cabrel Center in Stockton caused concerns after families reached out to county officials and informed them people in their 40s were being vaccinated ahead of the elderly.

In a statement, San Joaquin County District 3 Supervisor Tom Patti apologized and said the event was geared towards In-Home Support Services (IHSS) providers.

“It’s my understanding they didn’t want to turn people away that showed up, because not every IHSS provider wanted the shot. So we were prepared to administer shots as needed,” Patti said.

The next week, a successful drive-up distribution clinic was held at another institution located in the county, University of the Pacific.

At the Jan. 24 event, 300 doses of the vaccine were distributed to residents who met the county’s criteria, according to a press release from the institution.

There are still questions as to whether Delta College will follow University of the Pacific’s suit.

“We are definitely eager to contribute in some way to vaccine distribution efforts,” Breitler said. “We want to help in any way we can. As the Chancellor’s Office put it this week, community colleges throughout the state have a long history of stepping up during these kinds of emergencies.”