CHOMP covid vaccination

CHOMP Emergency Department doctor Sameer Bakhda receives his first-round Covid-19 vaccination on Dec. 18, 2020, at the hospital.

The supply of Covid-19 vaccines coming into Monterey County is still limited but Montage Health isn't waiting to launch two vaccination clinic locations open to the public, the nonprofit company announced Feb. 1.

For now the clinic appointments are only open to health care workers and people age 75 and up.

The two locations—Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey and the Montage Wellness Center in Marina—will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 7,500 people each week, once more vaccine doses are available, according to a press release.

The first sessions will be held at CHOMP on February 4 and 5 by appointment only and only for those receiving a first dose. Additional clinics will be added at both locations in the coming weeks.

Residents of Monterey County can make an appointment at chomp.org/vaccine starting today at noon. The appointments will be first come, first served, and will only be open to those eligible under the current state tier system. People will be asked for proof of age or health care employment upon arrival. Those who don't have it will be turned away, the Montage press release said.

Hospital officials expect that the clinics will fill up quickly due to high demand and low vaccine supply. They encourage people to check back often as more clinic dates are added.

Eventually half the clinics will be dedicated to those receiving their second dose.

“We have been working on setting up these vaccine clinics for months,” said Cynthia Peck, vice president, CHOMP and Montage Health, who is leading the operations of the vaccination clinics. “As vaccine is available, we are enormously pleased to provide this vital service to our residents and to help our community return to a healthy normal.”

Because the amount of vaccine doses that comes to Monterey County from the state fluctuates from week to week and remains only at between 2,000-4,000 doses, it's impossible to schedule clinics very far in advance. “Our hope is that we can get a consistent supply of vaccine to reliably and predictably run both our clinic locations full-time for the community,” Peck said in the release.

The Health Department has its own appointment portal for vaccination clinics around the county. That webpage is available here. 

As of this afternoon, the county's site shows availability at clinics on Feb. 2, 4 and 5. The locations include Mee Memorial Hospital in King City, a CSU Monterey Bay parking lot, Natividad Medical Center in Salinas and two Safeway Pharmacy locations in Salinas.

As with the clinics through Montage, the county's clinics are only open to people age 75 and up and health care workers at this time.

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