Since the FDA approved the first coronavirus vaccine late last year, efforts to begin inoculating U.S. citizens have seemingly moved in a hurry-up-and-wait fashion. With supplies increasing, vaccines have become more consistently available, and the pressure has shifted towards opening more mass vaccination sites.
In late January when Eric Vetere, Emergency Manager at San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), and the Incident Commander for the Districts COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT), received a call from the San Bernardino Office of Emergency Services (OES) asking him to turn Arroyo Valley High School into a mass vaccination site in just three days, he wasn't completely surprised. Vetere's department routinely coordinates and plans with County OES for emergencies, including pandemics.
The District and County already had agreements in place for vaccinations and to run testing sites— something it had been doing since last August. To meet the three-day deadline, Vetere decided to use SBCUSD staff in their role as Disaster Service Workers and then turned to Sam Precie, Administrator of Operations at SBCUSD, and the IMT Operations Section Chief, who went to work coordinating custodial and security services.
“When OES reaches out, we do our best to help,” he said.
"The whole purpose is to educate students and be here for our community. But we understand there may be folks who don't have the resources we have, so if we can, we want to help in other areas if possible."
Campus security was also put in place to assist with the buildout and safety of the vaccination center.
As a Facilitron partner, SBCUSD was able to utilize the platform to schedule each of the vaccination events as well as all event specifics—dates, times and locations, the signed MOU, and the district hold-harmless insurance requirements.
With everything set, the mass vaccination center opened on time that Thursday morning and began its three month engagement providing services each day from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm for San Bernardino residents who match the current tier requirements of the county.
District employees are also receiving the vaccines at Arroyo Valley High School.