Nearly 40,000 new COVID-19 vaccine appointments will open up this month for seniors across five inoculation centers in San Bernardino County, including two sites set to open next week in Victorville and Joshua Tree.
About a third of the 39,370 appointments are available Friday. More will open up on Wednesday, and the final slots will be available Feb. 13, according to a news release from the county.
The appointments are only for people age 65 and older who live or work in San Bernardino County, and proof of age and residency will be required, officials said.
“Seniors are most at risk from COVID-19, so our focus right now is on getting vaccinations in their arms as soon as possible,” county Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said in a statement.
Visit sbcovid19.com/vaccine/locations to make an appointment. Those unable to use a computer can call 909-387-3911 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Officials say appointments are being booked at the following vaccination sites:
- Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way
- Arroyo High School, 1881 W. Base Line St. in San Bernardino
- Hook Community Center, 14973 Joshua St. in Victorville (opening Tuesday)
- Hesperia Health Center at 16453 Bear Valley Road
- Copper Mountain College, 6162 Rotary Way in Joshua Tree (opening Wednesday)
Vaccinations are also being done at a state-run center in Bloomington, as well as at hospitals, pharmacies and other sites. Appointment availability for all locations can be accessed through the county public health department’s vaccination portal.
The county also plans to start a mobile vaccination program for those in more remote areas, focusing on seniors and other vulnerable populations.
On Tuesday, the county held its first large-scale vaccination event at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.
A total of 3,235 people were vaccinated, nearly all of them seniors. But many expressed frustration that the event was plagued by traffic congestion and long lines, forcing some to leave early.
Those who got a shot Tuesday were automatically scheduled for a second dose, which will also be administered at the racetrack.
The avoid traffic congestion at future events, county officials are asking those with appointments to show up no more than 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled time.
“Arriving too early increases traffic congestion while having no impact on your ability to actually receive a vaccine,” Hagman said.
The county says it’s largely completed vaccinating front-line health care workers and others with top priority for inoculation.
Police officers and firefighters have also had shots made available to them, and vaccines are also authorized for teachers and other staff at schools with on-campus learning or who will return to campus before the end of the school year. Appointments are only available to those groups through their employers, officials said.
“This process will ensure that eligible teachers will be served while reserving other appointment avenues for our senior population,” Hagman said.
Vaccine supplies remain limited, and the county noted that securing an appointment is often difficult. Officials say they’re working with the state daily to secure as many doses as possible. Availability will expand to other groups once there are enough vaccines to support the expansion without impacting access for those age 65 and over.