COVID-19 Vaccination Site Opens in Santa Ana

February 17, 2021 Updated: February 17, 2021

Orange County opened its third vaccination point of distribution (POD) at Santa Ana City College on Feb 17.

The latest POD is smaller than the county’s super sites and can administer up to 1,000 doses per day.

“It really is incredible news that we have as much vaccine now coming into Santa Ana, because for a while, as recent as a couple of weeks ago, it was a different story,” Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said at a city council meeting on Feb. 16.

The POD’s goal is to provide at least 240 vaccinations per hour. The POD at Soka University exceeded 300 vaccinations per hour.

The vaccine site is located at 1530 W 17th Street. It will operate Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vaccines are available by appointment only. For those with American Disabilities Association placards, there is a drive-through vaccination site at the POD.

Supervisor Andrew Do said bringing a POD to Santa Ana, which has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the county, was the right thing to do.

He said the site served as a continuation of the Orange County Board of Supervisor’s Latino Health Equity Initiative, which started last June.

“Addressing barriers that may impede people’s access to testing and vaccines, especially in low equity communities, is the reason why we came up with the Latino Health Equity Initiative very early in the pandemic,” Do said in a statement. “The Santa Ana College site is a tangible example of the county and Board of Supervisors delivering on our focus on equity in vaccine distribution.”

The first and second super POD sites opened at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, and Soka University in Aliso Viejo.

The state is currently in Phase 1A of the vaccination process. All individuals 65 and older are eligible, along with health care workers and long-term care residents.

Eligible individuals in Orange County can register for an appointment to receive the vaccine at Othena.com.

As of Feb. 8, there have been 376,735 vaccine doses administered, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

“The incredible work that has gone into these first few weeks of vaccine distribution is admirable,” Supervisor Doug Chaffee said in a statement. “We continue to communicate with residents who are anxious to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we encourage patience as we work to improve the infrastructure and communication in dispensing our limited supply of vaccine to eligible individuals.”

Santa Ana’s COVID-19 Prevalence

University of California–Irvine (UCI) recently conducted a random sampling of Santa Ana residents for COVID-19 antibodies and found that out of 3,218 individuals, 852 (27 percent) tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

Santa Ana’s prevalence is significantly higher than Orange County’s overall antibody positivity rate of 12 percent, according to Santa Ana’s city manager Kristine Ridge.

The study found that Hispanics had the highest prevalence of the antibodies, among others.

In Santa Ana, Hispanics are at least 2.24 times more likely to have had the virus than non-Hispanics.

Aliso Viejo’s Super POD Praised by Local Officials 

Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) toured Soka University’s Super POD site on Feb. 16 and called on governments to speed up the distribution of vaccines.

“The volunteers at the Soka University Super POD are doing outstanding work and I’m grateful for their time and dedication to our community,” Steel said in a statement. “Orange County has made good progress vaccinating our most vulnerable populations, but both the federal and local government should be prioritizing vaccine delivery so that all Californians can be protected. Increasing the availability of vaccines will allow Orange County residents to get back to work, visit at-risk relatives and get our businesses back up and running again.”

Mission Hospital’s COVID-19 Cases Decline

Mission Hospital has recently seen a “significant decrease in activity” among virus patients, the Lake Forest council reported at its regularly scheduled city council meeting on Feb. 17.

The city attributes this to the arrival of the vaccine, following local guidelines, and the local geography being relatively “spread out” compared to the rest of the county.

Mission Hospital vaccinates 400 to 500 people per day.

The hospital also reported that more than 90 percent of its medical staff have been vaccinated.