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Santa Barbara - South County

Cottage Health vaccinating 2,400 seniors in drive-up clinic today and tomorrow

GOLETA, Calif. - Another mass vaccination event for those 75 and older is happening Thursday and Friday in the parking across from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.

"This is Day 7," said Bob Behbehanian, Director of Marketing and Consumerism at Cottage Health. "When we started this January 15 we were doing 500 drive-up vaccinations a day. The next week that went up to 750, then 1,000 .... you know, 1,200. When we get the second doses, probably in the 1,500 range."

Two patients willing to talk Thursday expressed a little excitement and anxiety.

"I was more nervous about getting the shot than I was on my wedding day," said one woman who did not reveal her name.

"I hardly felt the prick," said Mary Mitchell. "Obviously the nurse knows how to give a shot." 

Mitchell's son, Ed, drove her through the process. Both were very pleased with the set up.

Mary Mitchell with son, Ed, at the wheel (Beth Farnsworth/KEYT)

"I have been so impressed with the people and the way it's being handled," said Mitchell. "I really think you're doing a spectacular job here!"

"Every week we're making little tweaks," said Behbehanian.

Another check-in lane was added this week to make the process faster and more efficient. Roughly 120 staff and volunteers help man the drive-up clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Those eligible must have an appointment and live in Santa Barbara County.

"From the time you check in to the time you get vaccinated and finish your 15 to 30 minute wait period, we have you on your way in about 45 minutes," said Behbehanian.

Behbehanian said there is a wait list and a standby process at the end of the day so no vaccine goes to waste.

"Last week we were able to vaccinate 46 of the 47 people we had here on standby."

Behbehanian said of the 4,800 people seen so far during Cottage Health's vaccination clinics, only two people suffered negative effects. Both were taken to GVCH to be assessed, then released with no major problems.

Staff at Cottage Health is working now to set up more options for folks with transportation or computer issues.

If you'd like to make an appointment or register for the first-come, first-served wait list, click here.

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT NewsChannel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here

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