VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura County set up vaccination sites for the public to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for free.
The Ventura County Fairgrounds is already a site for COVID testing, but now people are lining up outside another building to get vaccinated.
“I wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Walter Wheelis, who is a Westlake Village resident.
Wheelis said he’s been patiently waiting for the vaccine, and wasn’t nervous.
“No,” said Whellis. “Just excited to get vaccinated.”
Ventura County's first vaccine site opened in South Oxnard, followed by the Fairgrounds on Monday.
“Right now we have two main sites, and some specialized sites at the Public Health facility, as well as one for the first responders community,” said Barry Zimmerman, Chief Deputy Director for Ventura County Health Care Agency. “We are looking at setting up a site in East County that we are securing a facility this week on, and then we will look for multiple other locations throughout the county.”
County leaders hope to eventually have nine sites. Right now, the county is in Phase 1-A of the vaccine rollout. This includes health care workers, and people who live in longterm care facilities. Just like Haydriane Occidental works at a dental office in Oxnard.
“My office was offering to have the entire staff vaccinated so might as well just go for it,” said Occidental.
The county hopes to move to the next phase of the vaccine plan in two weeks. People can register online once their phase starts. Once people are vaccinated they're asked to stay in a waiting area for 15 minutes to make sure they don't have a reaction.
“It really didn’t feel like anything,” said Occidental.
Nearly 15,000 vaccines have been distributed, and the county just received 10,000 more from the state.
“We are hoping to build the capacity of our vaccination systems to be able to produce 5,000 vaccinations a day,” said Zimmerman. “Right now with all of the centers we have open we are about 2,200-2,500 so we would like to double that by the end of the month. Ultimately our goal is to get up to 10,000 vaccinations a day.”
The county is also looking or volunteers to help at the vaccinations sites.
If you would like to register to get vaccinated or volunteer to work at a vaccination site, click here.