SRJC in Petaluma to host mass COVID vaccinations

The east side campus will be among the first wave of mass vaccine clinics hosted by Sonoma County. Officials aim to begin vaccinations for Phase 1b next month, which includes teachers, food and agriculture workers and those 65 and older.|

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Petaluma campus is among the county’s initial mass vaccination sites planned in the coming weeks, as health officials race to vaccinate residents while coronavirus deaths reach grievous highs.

The site, expected to open next month, is among the eight county-supported clinics that are either open or close to opening. They include the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Huerta Gymnasium at the Windsor Civic Center, Roseland Library and an unidentified Sonoma Valley location.

It will be the second time the east-side Petaluma junior college will serve in the county’s ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic, following a stint as a free public testing site last year.

SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong said staff and campus police are busy preparing the campus’ cavernous gym and back parking lots for the process, which county officials say will vaccinate up to 300 people per day.

“It’s a massive undertaking to do this vaccination effort, and the way I look at it is the JC will play a small but significant role in allowing the vaccine to reach many south county residents,” Chong said.

The location will offer appointments only, though officials could not yet provide details about the clinic’s hours of operation or how residents can sign up.

County representatives advise residents to sign up for SoCo Alerts for the latest information on vaccine distribution efforts and options.

Initially, the Petaluma location will inoculate those within the Phase 1b population, which includes teachers, law enforcement, food and agriculture workers and residents 65 and older, in accordance with the state’s tiered vaccination strategy.

County spokesman Matt Brown said the aim is to have the mass vaccination clinics opened around Feb.1, once those in Phase 1a such as health-care workers and nursing home residents have received their shots.

“At this point, everything is fluid, but we are moving forward with that date in our goal of getting Phase 1b up and running,” Brown said. “We imagine it will stay open for as long as necessary, until everyone has had a chance to get vaccinated.”

As of Monday, 19,344 Sonoma County residents have received their first injection, while 6,019 are fully vaccinated, according to the county.

(Contact Kathryn Palmer at, on Twitter @KathrynPlmr.)

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