CSUMB and Monterey County teamed up on drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations

January 6, 2021

Monterey County Health Department workers at Lot 59

Photo by: Ken Folsom Monterey County Health Department workers at Lot 59

At the start of the new year, on Jan. 2, CSUMB lent its vast Lot 59 (a fenced-in parking lot) to the Monterey County Health Department to administer drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations to emergency medical services personnel.

The operation, called a POD (Point of Distribution), took place 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, in which time 148 people were given the Pfizer vaccine shots in their cars by county nurses.

A county health official estimates that the process took 4 minutes per car, while patients were asked to wait 15 minutes afterwards to check for any adverse reactions (30 minutes if there was a history of anaphylaxis).

“It went very smoothly,” the official said. “The site had a fantastic layout.”

CSUMB emergency manager Ken Folsom said the university’s role was coordination of the facility use and security if needed.

CSUMB and the Monterey County Health Department have precedent for this kind of effort. Last October, both collaborated on a two-day, free, drive-thru flu vaccination effort at the same lot.

Alyssa Erikson, chair of CSUMB’s Department of Nursing, called the drive-thru flu vaccinations “a definite success.”

And a county public health nurse took lessons from it, saying that the location was ideal and that public messaging would be important.

That October drive-thru flu vaccination effort served as a test run for what transpired last weekend. And both can serve to refine the process for future vaccinations. The Monterey County Health Department has information about the tiers, phases and appointments on their COVID-19 vaccinations webpage including the "Eight things you need to know now." On Dec. 18, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke to CSU Chancellor Timothy White in a livestream event about the prospects of 2021 in the pandemic, especially as it relates to universities and students.