Vaccination Site is ‘First of its Kind’ Designed Just for Seniors in San Diego County

A new COVID-19 vaccination site designed specifically for the community’s most vulnerable seniors is now open at West PACE. The appointment-only site located is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including holidays). Organizers anticipate that the site will quickly begin vaccinating approximately 500 or more seniors per day.

Vaccines are administered through a coordinated public-private effort among the Gary and Mary West Foundation, West PACE, the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, West Health, the County of San Diego, City of San Marcos and 211 San Diego.

The site has an onsite supervising physician who specializes in geriatric care, will initially target seniors who are experiencing challenges navigating online appointment systems or who do not have the support of a family member or caregiver.

Appointments can be made by calling 211 San Diego, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating access barriers including low to no computer skills, lack of a digital device or email address, high-speed internet at home. 211 San Diego connects individuals and families to health, community, and disaster services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is dedicated to providing easy and equitable access to information in over 200 languages. When seniors connect with 211 San Diego, they can talk to a live person who will assist them to schedule an appointment and find available transportation assistance including round-trip transportation for ‘curb to clinic’ services.

To make an appointment press 2-1-1 from any phone to be connected.

Site features include:

  • Elimination of long lines. Rather than waiting in their car or on foot, seniors and their caregivers can park at no charge and walk-up to the site designed for geriatric patients.
  • Arrangements for a senior to stay with their caregiver throughout their visit.
  • Care navigators to assist patients who arrive on their own.
  • Less movement from station-to-station within the site (once seated, patients may remain seated until the visit is concluded).
  • Accommodations for mobility and cognitive impairments.
  • Interpretation services through Interpreters Unlimited, a San Diego-based company providing free foreign language and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation through video remote or phone services.
  • Automatic booking of patient’s second vaccination appointment.
  • Earlier hours of operation than other vaccine sites in the county, providing more choice to family members and caregivers to help a senior receive the vaccine before work.

“The pandemic has revealed gaps in our supports for seniors that are matter of life or death for older adults,” says Rena Smith, Executive Director, West PACE. “Some of the most apparent gaps are playing out as many older adults are struggling to obtain an appointment to get a vaccine. By hosting this vaccine site, we hope to provide an easy to access and age-friendly experience that will break down the barriers to vaccine access.”

The site at West PACE in San Marcos is a community COVID-19 vaccination site for seniors. For more information and to book an appointment, dial 2-1-1.

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