Pop-up sites aim to vaccinate hard-hit neighborhoods

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SAN DIEGO — Vaccines were given out in South San Diego Friday at the second pop-up clinic organized by the city as part of its effort to vaccinate hard-hit communities.

Mayor Todd Gloria said more than 300 vaccines were administered at Montgomery High School to people in one of the zip codes hardest hit by COVID-19.

Friday’s clinic followed another pop-up vaccination site in Valencia Park.

“We want to continue to do what we can to vaccinate every San Diegan, but to do it with a lens of equity, recognizing that certain neighborhoods in our community have been hard hit,” Gloria said.

City council member Vivian Moreno, who represents District 8, echoed his concern.

“We also have some inequity in the amount of vaccines that are being distributed to the Latino community and the Black community,” Moreno said.

Those living in the 92154 zip code had the chance to get their vaccinations at the Montgomery High pop-up site while also giving feedback to the mayor.

“What I heard from San Diegans today getting vaccinated is that they would not have been vaccinated if we did not bring this opportunity to their neighborhood,” he said.

Gloria said he hopes to set up another pop-up site in City Heights as soon as supply allows. City and county leaders have worked together to make the first two pop-ups happen seamlessly.

“We’re demonstrating here today that with collaboration we can get vaccines out to people right away,” council member Moreno said.

Beginning Saturday, even more people will have access to the shots, including teachers and grocery store employees.

Chris Heiser, Deputy Chief of EMS, said those vaccinations are crucial.

“What we’re looking at now, as the mayor described, is the critical nature of educators, the emergency first responders that weren’t included and food service workers, so the county has a robust plan in place,” Heiser said.

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