East Bay physician can't wait, holds drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination event for 500 seniors

LAFAYETTE, Calif. (KGO) -- The race to vaccinate has been a slow roll out across the Bay Area and the state but there have been some bright spots -- a drive-thru clinic where the COVID-19 vaccine was getting into the arms of hundreds who so desperately want it. It was organized by an East Bay physician who's tired of waiting.

"We feel good we're making a dent in this problem," said Dr. Rebecca Parish.

The playground at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette was transformed into a drive-thru vaccination clinic for seniors Saturday.

Many seniors have been frustrated trying to get the vaccine, like Wayne Hahn.

"I'm feeling relieved, I live in Rossmoor they were unable to get the county to come and give it to the 10,000 seniors who live there like me," he said.

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For Bay Area seniors, the wait for a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to take months.



"It's incredibly frustrating, patients are afraid," said Dr. Parish.

Parish who is in private practice in Walnut Creek, partnered with the city of Lafayette and local senior organizations to get the vaccine to those who may be homebound or tech challenged.

These days, vaccine doses are like gold, finding 500 of them wasn't easy.

"I'm pretty sure somewhere in there I promised someone my firstborn child, that's not realistic," Parish said.

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Parish says she lobbied Contra Costa County for the 500 doses of the vaccine, and finally got them.

Aegis Living in Fremont gave shots to 240 assisted living residents and staff Saturday, a partnership with CVS.

But multiple states now have more appointments than doses. President-elect elect Joe Biden says speeding up vaccinations is top priority when he takes office next week, aiming for 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office.

"This is the time to set big goals because the health of the nation is at stake," said Biden.

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Back in Lafayette, Lisa Applegate was overcome the moment she got the shot.

"I didn't realize how much hope I'd feel, it's a good feeling," she said.

The clinic will continue on Sunday, all vaccination appointments were taken but more drive-thru events are planned for the future.

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