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By Shawn Raymundo
The limited supply of coronavirus vaccines continues to hamper plans of getting shots into the arms of the county’s elderly, as pop-up vaccination clinics tentatively scheduled to open throughout the county in the coming days, including San Clemente, have been put on hold.
The county announced on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in a press release that its plans of offering vaccines to San Clemente’s seniors at the Dorothy Visser Senior Center on Feb. 10 is now paused, citing “extremely high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Orange County.”
“The County of Orange tiered vaccination plan continues to be developed based on limited vaccine supply,” the release said. “While it is possible a local distribution may occur in the city of San Clemente in the future, we are putting the tentatively scheduled clinic for Feb. 10 on pause at Age Well’s Dorothy Visser Senior Center.”
The office of Orange County Board Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who represents the Fifth District that largely covers South County, told San Clemente Times on Tuesday that the county has hit the pause button on all the small vaccination clinics it was looking to open around the county because of logistical and supply issues.
The county, Bartlett’s office said, does plan to revisit the endeavor when more vaccines become available.
For the time being, the county is continuing to recommend that seniors 65 and older register with Othena through the website and mobile app to schedule an appointment at either of the two Super Point of Dispensing (POD) sites—located at Disneyland in Anaheim and Soka University in Aliso Viejo.
Beth Apodaca, director of San Clemente’s senior center, said on Tuesday that her staff has been working to notify those who had already scheduled their tentative appointment about the pause.
The purpose of the pop-up vaccination clinics, she had previously explained, was to provide local seniors with an additional avenue in getting the vaccine without having to make the trip to Aliso Viejo or Anaheim.
She also had warned that the Feb. 10 opening date was a moving target based on the supply of available vaccines.
According to Apodaca, the county prefers that residents keep trying to book an appointment with Othena rather than wait for the local clinic option to become available.
Those who have scheduled a shot at either one of the Super POD locations can book round-trip transportation to and from the appointment through the senior center’s parent company, Age Well Senior Services.
The co-pay charge is $2 for each way, and booking transportation must be made 48 business hours in advance. Rides can be scheduled by calling 949.855.9766.
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.