Santa Clara Co. brings vaccine to soccer fans at PayPal Park to help reach hard-hit community

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- There was a sold out crowd to PayPal Park on Wednesday night.

Stadium officials said 18,000 people were expected to attend the first international event since the state reopened.

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The match between Club America and Atlas F.C. was made even more significant as the Santa Clara County Public Health Department was able to reach the hardest hit community.

Public health officials offered a mobile vaccine pop-up clinic with the message, "Let's Get to Immunity."

"We have been struggling to get people vaccinated, especially in the LatinX community," Ricardo Romero, the Lead Public Information Officer with the County of Santa Clara said. "We still have about 40-percent of the population in the Latino community who haven't been vaccinated, and today we're seeing hundreds of people here."

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According to the county's demographics dashboard, Latinos make up 50-percent of cases. The pop-up clinic at PayPal Park offered convenience and the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I was just walking through. They told me, 'If you get vaccinated, we'll give you tickets,' I'm like, why not," Jose A. Esquibel told ABC7 News. "I've been trying to get vaccinated for a while. I've just been busy working, but I'm at the right place at the right time."

Dr. Gerardo Solorio Cortes with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in Gilroy added, "This is just an example of getting into a sport that's very popular in the LatinX community. Getting the people here and offering them the vaccine right next to the stadium... That's awesome!"

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He explained this is just another avenue of outreach that has proven to be effective. It is also one of many vaccine efforts by the county, to beat COVID-19.

"I'm very proud to live in a county where we were so proactive in facing the pandemic," Dr. Solorio Cortes shared. "Treating patients- and now vaccinating as many people as we can."

For soccer fan Esquibel, the ultimate goal was to finally get his vaccination. He said scoring two free tickets was the "game changer."

For Santa Clara County vaccination information, click here.


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