San Francisco Launches New Neighborhood Vaccination Site in the Excelsior District as part of Equity Strategy
Operated in partnership with Excelsior Strong and Latino Task Force, the new vaccination site offers low-barrier access to vaccines in a diverse neighborhood that is home to many essential workers and others at risk of COVID-19
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and community partners Excelsior Strong and Latino Task Force, today announced the opening of a new neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site in the Excelsior District. The Excelsior site, located at 20 Norton Street, bolsters the City’s ongoing efforts to ensure that highly impacted neighborhoods have equitable access to the vaccine.
The goal of San Francisco’s vaccination strategy is to make receiving the vaccine as convenient and comfortable for as many people as possible, particularly in those neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and where there is a lack of access to healthcare. The Excelsior District is home to many Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islander residents and essential workers and has been one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, community organizations have worked hand-in-hand with the City to make sure San Franciscans have the resources and support they need. We’re proud to work with leaders in the Excelsior to bring this site to a neighborhood that has been hard-hit by this virus,” said Mayor Breed. “We’re making good progress getting COVID-19 vaccines to people throughout San Francisco, and this new site is part of a broader strategy to reach people where they live. We now have the capacity to vaccinate 20,000 people per day in San Francisco, and we’re prepared to administer those vaccines as quickly as we get the supply.”
The new site in the Excelsior is planned to operate Wednesday through Saturday, from 9:30am-3:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and 12 pm-6pm on Fridays. The site will have an initial capacity of 150 doses per day. Given that supply of the vaccine remains extremely limited, the Excelsior site is by appointment only with limited drop-in availability. Excelsior neighborhood residents and workers can call Excelsior Strong/Latino Task Force at (415) 562-8638 to schedule an appointment.
The Excelsior site, located on a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) parking lot, has the additional benefit of being adjacent to Mission Street, which has numerous Muni bus lines, and walking distance from Balboa Park BART station, ensuring that it is accessible and convenient for people that it will serve. Muni and Paratransit are free for anyone traveling to and from COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The SFMTA is also providing additional access to taxi service for those using the Essential Trip Card. Information can be found at sfmta.com/COVID and sfmta.com/Paratransit.
“At the onset of the Pandemic, the Excelsior saw very high rates of COVID-19 contraction. At that time we fought for services and worked with groups like Excelsior Strong and the Latino Task Force to secure and provide low barrier testing,” said Supervisor Safaí. “This site is the next step in that collaborative work as we offer vaccines to community members who need it most.”
Neighborhood vaccine access sites, such as this new Excelsior site, are one critical piece of a larger network of vaccine distribution that also includes high-volume vaccination sites, community clinics, pharmacy partnerships, and mobile vaccination teams. In addition to the Excelsior site, the City continues to locate vaccine resources in neighborhoods that have disproportionally carried the burden of COVID-19 and has created neighborhood vaccine access sites in the Mission and the Bayview.
Additionally, the City has expanded neighborhood vaccine sites and mobile vaccine teams to the Tenderloin, Visitacion Valley, Treasure Island, Chinatown and other neighborhoods with the highest infection rates for COVID-19 and limited access to health care services. Last week, the City launched a series of mobile vaccination events on Treasure Island and at Ping Yuen, Chinatown’s largest senior living facility. To date, 49% of eligible Chinatown residents have been vaccinated, which is above the citywide neighborhood average of 43%.
Across these efforts, San Francisco is averaging almost 12,000 doses a day, and over 50% percent of San Franciscans 16 and older have received at least one dose. More than 30% percent of San Franciscans have been fully vaccinated. Over 82% percent of San Franciscans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 65% percent have been fully vaccinated.
While 50% of the Excelsior neighborhood’s eligible population has been vaccinated, testing continues to show that the Latino community is experiencing high rates of new infection, with recent testing revealing that COVID-19 test positivity is two and a half times higher in the Latino population compared to the general SF population. However, the new case rate per month for Latinos is at its lowest point since April 2020 at 262 cases, a 92% percent reduction from 3,216 at the peak of the most recent surge. Latinos have also experienced higher rates of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 across all age groups, not just in the 65 and older population, which is more typical in the general population. Although, the City’s hospital census is at its lowest point in four months with just 20 patients, down from 259 at the highest point of the winter surge.
San Francisco’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard shows that the City’s focus on racial equity in vaccine distribution has been successful. A higher proportion of the DPH-administered vaccinations have gone to people of color than the total citywide vaccinations. For example, the Latino population represents 14% percent of the City’s vaccine eligible population and has received more than 27% of DPH’s vaccinations. The dashboard also shows that the top three neighborhoods receiving the largest amount of DPH-controlled vaccines are the Bayview, Mission and Excelsior.
“We want to thank Excelsior Strong and the Latino Task Force for their partnership with the City in bringing this new vaccination site to the Excelsior, a neighborhood that continues to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax. “We hope that this site brings a level of comfort and convenience that encourages members of the Excelsior community to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that we can continue to reopen our City and resume the activities we love.”
“We have been one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in SF with COVID. My friends have lost their loved ones to this virus and now we come together to support our neighborhood in healing itself,” said Patricia Barraza of Excelsior Strong.
“We are so excited to finally see a community led, driven, and implemented vaccine site being launched here in the Excelsior which will help those who have been impacted most by Covid. Neighbors will have low barrier access to vaccines,” said Jon Jacobo, LTF Health Committee Chair.
Vaccine Eligibility and Making an Appointment
On April 1, 2021 in accordance with State guidelines, San Francisco expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all people age 50 or older. These individuals join already eligible groups including people with disabilities and severe underlying health conditions, people living in congregate settings, and people experiencing homelessness. Also eligible are people who work in the healthcare, food and agriculture, education and childcare, emergency services, transportation, and homeless and congregate care sectors.
In order to assist individuals with accessing appointments, the City has set up a call center to help people, especially those who are 65 and older and those with disabilities who are unable to easily access the internet or schedule an appointment through their provider. Individuals may call to learn about vaccine options and receive assistance in booking an appointment to some locations. The number is (628) 652-2700.
Anyone who works or lives in San Francisco and is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can go to SF.gov/getvaccinated to find vaccination locations and make an appointment. The City will continue to provide regular updates to the public about the vaccine in San Francisco at SF.gov/covidvaccine.