Marin Co. says 'Disneyland-style' strategy helped with seamless COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Could Marin Co. have the perfect COVID-19 vaccination strategy?
Marin County may have the perfect strategy for running a smooth-operating mass vaccine distribution site.

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A two minute wait in traffic appears to have been the only bottleneck as Marin County administered about 800 coronavirus vaccinations to medical workers and first responders Tuesday.

"They were great in there. It was easy. It was fast," said Katherine Woodcock.

"Five minutes max. Very quick," a paramedic said.

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If there is to be a template for mass vaccinations, Marin's might be it.

Marin's Deputy Health Officer, Dr. Lisa Santora, says it happened by design.

"We have Disneyland-style strategies. We have people queued up, maintain six feet distance so everyone stays safe while we vaccinate."

Marin County even conducted a practice drill last fall.

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Everyone who showed, today, had an appointment. Some got out early. And now, with the federal government encouraging expedited vaccinations for anyone 65 or older, the county believes it is ready to immunize 2,000 people daily.

"We just need to grow bigger, faster," said Dr. Santora.

Marin is unique in terms of seniors being vaccinated. Proportionally, there are more seniors here than any other county, roughly one in three of about 75,000 people.

Kent Whitson of Sausalito is 74. He figured he might have to wait until March. Probably not, now.

"I don't feel like I'm cutting in line and if I do, I don't want to," Whitson said.

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Depending on vaccine amounts, Marin might begin accepting 75 year-olds by the end of this month. They're likely to be driving through.

"The vision is you never leave your car," said Dr. Santora. "Having a large walk-through pod is not strategic for that population."

Marin County plans to include doctors, pharmacies, and grocery stores in the distribution process.

Will it run as smoothly as what we saw on Tuesday? We may not have long to wait before finding out.

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