The Del Mar Fairgrounds is San Diego County’s fifth COVID-19 vaccination super station. Scripps Health began administering the Pfizer vaccine to eager patients, beginning with 288 inoculations upon opening on Friday, February 12 in Wyland Hall.
Del Mar Fairgrounds Interim CEO, Carlene Moore, notes, “As an accessible public facility with plenty of space and a team eager to help, it makes sense for the Del Mar Fairgrounds to serve as a vaccination super station. Our staff and board of directors are excited to support the County Department of Public Health, along with their partners at Scripps Health, in their heroic vaccination efforts in the battle against COVID-19.”
Both drive-through and walk-through vaccinations are offered by appointment only, scheduled through the county’s vaccination website.
Inside the Wyland Center, there are nine vehicular lanes, each with three staffed vaccination stations. With a limited supply of vaccinations, the initial weekend of vaccinations will serve as a soft opening with 250-750 shots per day, however Scripps and the Fairgrounds are ready to service 5,000 patients per day as a greater vaccine supply becomes available.
“We also have the capability that should the vaccine supply be there, and the county needs it, we can expand into additional buildings,” Moore said. The Fairgrounds is readily prepared to expand into O’Brien Hall and the Activity Center.
Teresa McKethan from La Jolla utilized the site’s drive-through services and told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “This has been most efficient, I must say. There have been no complications whatsoever.”
The Union-Tribune reports “She had tried repeatedly to get an appointment at the Petco Park site, without success. When she saw Thursday that appointments were available at the fairgrounds, she got online and scheduled both her Friday visit and the follow-up second dose.”
In this public/private partnership with the County of San Diego and Scripps Health, the 22nd District Agricultural Association is providing use of up to one million square feet of Fairgrounds property – including the main parking lot, Wyland Center, O’Brien Hall and Activity Center – along with the coordination of facility operations including traffic, parking, signage and custodial services. The Fairgrounds will have a dedicated event coordinator onsite for all hours of operation. In total, the public benefit offered on behalf of the Fairgrounds is valued at $17,000 per day in in-kind use.
Moore states, “Supporting the efforts to vaccinate San Diego County residents is the best way we can think of to work towards achieving the goal of herd immunity and getting to a place where we can safely celebrate by welcoming San Diegans back to the Fairgrounds for all of the events and gatherings we’re so eager to host again.