‘VERY GRATEFUL’ Emergency Room Dr. Roger Chiou received South County’s first dose of the new Covid-19 vaccine at Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy Dec. 17. SLRH Clinical Nurse Liesel Short (right) administered the vaccine to Chiou and some of his frontline colleagues throughout the afternoon. Photo: Michael Moore

A site at Valley Health Center Gilroy can vaccinate up to 500 people per day, according to Santa Clara County Public Health, and officials will be set up in Gilroy Jan. 21 to help people sign up for appointments.

According to county health data, as of Jan. 19, more than 153,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been allocated to county health providers, with the County of Santa Clara Health System receiving the lion’s share. Nearly 110,000 have been administered.

Gilroy continues to be a hotspot for the virus, with 489 new cases reported between Jan. 11-18, according to county data. Since March, the city has reported 6,133 cases, totaling more than 10 percent of the population.

In Morgan Hill, 251 new cases were reported from Jan. 11-18.

The county is now authorized by the state to vaccinate anyone 65 and older, but due to limited vaccine supply, it is only offering vaccination to people 75 and older.

Mass vaccination sites at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds and Berger Drive in San Jose have been set up for more than a week, but a site at Valley Health Center Gilroy offers “greater per capita vaccine access in Gilroy than in any other city in the county,” health officials said in a statement.

County officials say the Gilroy site has the capacity to vaccinate between 400 and 500 people per day, with the expectation that it will be increased to 600 per day in the coming weeks.

“The County plans to expand access to vaccination in all parts of the county in the coming weeks and months, and encourages all other large health systems to do the same,” the statement read. “Kaiser, in particular, serves a large percentage of the population in the southern portions of the county and we hope and expect they too will expand access to residents of the greater Gilroy area.”

Santa Clara County Public Health will be at San Ysidro Park, 7700 Murray Ave. in Gilroy, on Jan. 21 to help people 75 years or older sign up for a vaccination appointment.

For information, visit sccfreevax.com.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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