County Supervisor Hilda Solis formally opened a COVID-19 vaccination site Monday in the Chinatown area, saying it will target area seniors who may have difficulty making online appointments and who may be hesitant to leave their homes due to recent acts of hate targeting Asians.

“Right now we know that Chinatown’s population (aged) 65-plus is behind the curve in terms of who has access to the vaccine,” Solis said during an opening ceremony at the site at 711 W. College St. “Not all of them have access to the internet or have a family member that can help them navigate the MyTurn application (website).”

To help bridge that gap, the site will offer a mix of appointment and walk-up vaccinations, with bilingual staff on hand.

“The best (part) about it in my estimation is that you have people that speak their language, so this trust issue about understanding who’s the messenger, who’s talking to them in their language, is absolutely very important,” Solis said.

The site was expected to administer about 500 doses on Monday, with the capability of administering up to 800 per day, depending on vaccine supply. The site will operate five days a week.

Solis said placing the site in the heart of Chinatown will hopefully encourage more residents to seek out vaccinations.

“There’s so much distrust right now,” she said. “People are even afraid in Chinatown to come out of their homes, especially our elderly. As you know there has been a recent influx of anti-Asian hate, and we know that it’s real. And the feeling out there is one of concern. But we are working with our community, with the Chinatown alliance here … and all the community organizations to see that we can stand up … and make sure they get the services that they deserve.”

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