Santa Clara Co. official asks for San Jose vaccination site to reopen as COVID-19 cases rise

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Some say déj vu, others may say here we go again.

COVID-19 case numbers are up in the state of California, new cases seeing a 90% increase last week from the one prior.

Local and state officials both have the same call to action for residents: get your vaccination.

"If we want to end this pandemic once and for all, if we want to turn the page, we can get it done in a matter of weeks, not months," Gov. Gavin Newsom said. "It's as simple as this: if you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated."

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It's the same message in Santa Clara County.

San Jose Planning Commission President Rolando Bonilla battled with COVID-19 in December.

He fears this latest variant can be far worse for people living in east San Jose if they aren't vaccinated.

"I am here because I am pleading with our community to please get vaccinated," Bonilla said. "I am convinced that if I got the Delta variant, I would not be here today. All I'm trying to do is make sure that we don't lose any lives unnecessarily."

Bonilla says that it's not just on the residents to get vaccinated, but the local health officials to help them get vaccinated.

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He suggests that should start with reopening the vaccination site at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in East San Jose.

"The county of Santa Clara must work harder to ensure that people are coming through these doors and getting vaccinated," Bonilla said. "We can't say that we care about vaccination and yet close the largest vaccination site in east San Jose."

There were nearly 20,000 vaccinations at Mexican Heritage Plaza, but the site closed along with other mass sites in the county.

County executive Dr. Jeff Smith still believes in the work they are doing and will assess the reopening of the site if needed.

"Right now, I think the criteria is demand," Dr. Smith said. "We have gotten into the range recently where I think we had only 10 people a day showing up at Mexican Heritage. That tells us that we actually need to be in walking door-to-door rather than waiting for people to show up on our front step."

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The county says their efforts have helped close the gap for the LatinX community.

They now have a higher vaccination percentage than white residents for people 50 and older in Santa Clara County.

For residents 65 and older in Santa Clara County, 76% of the LatinX population is vaccinated, while 71.3% of the the white population is.

For residents 50 and older in Santa Clara County, 74.8% of the LatinX population is vaccinated, while 69.4% of the the white population is.

The younger age groups are where the numbers switch.

Santa Clara County told ABC7 News that only 64.5% of LatinX people 16 and older are vaccinated compared to the 67.5% of white residents.



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