Update: Need a rapid COVID test? Please see our guide to rapid COVID testing locations in San Diego.
San Diego began rolling out the COVID-19 vaccination on January 31st, and there are a variety of locations where residents can get the San Diego COVID vaccine for free. To speed up the process, it is imperative to know where you can go to get the vaccine when your turn is up.
Everyone has to make an appointment when they’re eligible and the rollout may become more impacted as time goes on. Still the large number of sites ensures that each citizen will have a chance to get vaccinated when their Phase has arrived. While it is necessary for people to continue getting tested for COVID-19, finding the site where you can get vaccinated makes it easier when it’s your turn to receive the first shot. Here is a complete list of locations and hours where the vaccine is available.
The Importance of Being Tested for COVID in San Diego
When you look into COVID vaccine news in San Diego, you’ll find that COVID-19 testing is vital because some people who contract the virus have no symptoms at all. This is one of the many reasons that the pandemic has been so difficult to mitigate. Testing is integral to decreasing the amount of transmissions and getting a handle over the virus. COVID testing in San Diego is available at a variety of locations.
Not only are there places to get tested in person, there are even at home COVID tests available. While vaccines are needed to mitigate the infection rates and deaths that result, testing is still very crucial. Until you get the vaccine, and even after you do, if you feel that you’ve been exposed you should get tested.
The Phases for COVID Vaccinations in San Diego
The rollout for San Diego COVID vaccines is on its own unique schedule like other counties in the country. While San Diego is following federal and state guidelines for priority demographics, the County is working with communities to ensure the vaccine is distributed equally among the people. The rollout is gradual and split into San Diego COVID vaccine phases.
Phase 1A has been split into three San Diego COVID vaccine tiers, which are now all eligible for vaccination. These include staff working in hospitals and nursing facilities, paramedics, EMTs, as well those working in emergency medical services, dialysis centers, and behavioral centers.
The second tier for Phase 1A includes staff providing care for people who require non-continuous nursing supervision and supportive care, people who are providing in-home health-care and support services, community health workers and public health staff, those working in primary care clinics, and staff working in federal health and rural health centers. This tier also includes people working in correctional facilities, urgent care clinics, and behavioral non-residential outpatient facilities.
The third and final tier of Phase 1A includes other settings for healthcare personnel and staff in specialty clinics like laboratory workers, dental health clinics, pharmacies, and funeral workers. While these tiers are complex and were rolled out individually, all of the people above are now eligible to make their San Diego COVID vaccine appointment.
Phase 1B of the COVID vaccinations has also begun. Those who are eligible include people above the age of 65 and frontline essential workers at risk of exposure through their work. These include workers in emergency services, emergency operation workers, fire and law enforcement, as well as people who work in education, childcare, food service, and agriculture.
The 1C Phase hasn’t started yet. This tier includes people 16-64 years old with one or more pre-existing conditions including cancer, chronic kidney disease, and chronic pulmonary disease. Furthermore, individuals with Down syndrome, an immunocompromised weakened state, sickle cell disease, heart conditions like heart failure, severe obesity, and type 2 diabetes will be eligible in this Phase. Women who are pregnant will also be eligible for the vaccine. Other individuals who are eligible for the vaccine under this tier include those who are likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection.
The last of the San Diego COVID vaccine phases is Phase 2, when the general population over 16 years of age will be able to get vaccinated. This is subject to change depending on the vaccine supply and local recommendations.
Where to Go for the COVID-19 Vaccine?
The logistics are key. Even when you are eligible, it is wise to be diligent about making your appointment. Below are the locations where you can get vaccinated when you’re eligible for it.
UC San Diego Petco Park Super Station
One of the largest San Diego COVID vaccine locations is the UC San Diego Petco Park Super Station. It is a drive-thru vaccination site where appointments are required and vaccines are provided at no-cost. With hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can get the vaccine at 1235 K St., San Diego, 92101.
Tubman-Chavez Community Center
The Tubman-Chavez Community Center opened up for people to get the COVID vaccine in San Diego. It is located at 415 Euclid Ave., 92114. The site offers vaccinations from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. While it isn’t open for vaccines every day, the Community Center is a good choice if you make a San Diego COVID vaccine appointment for Friday or Saturday.
Balboa Park POD
The Balboa Park POD is a walk-thru site where appointments for free vaccines are required. You can get vaccinated from Tuesday to Friday during the times of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is located at 2111 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA, 92101.
Rady’s Children Hospital
Another place to get a San Diego COVID vaccine is Rady’s Children’s Hospital. It is a walk-thru no-cost vaccination site where you can get vaccinated from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. The hospital is located at 8001 Frost St., San Diego, CA, 92123.
Sharp – South Bay Super Station
The Sharp Super Station in Chula Vista is located at 565 Broadway St. They are offering free vaccinations by appointment only. You can give them a call at 800-827-4277. The site is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Sharp-Grossmont Center Mall Super Station
Located in La Mesa, the Grossmont Center Mall Super Station is a walk-thru vaccination site where appointments are required for vaccines at no cost. You can get vaccinated Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is located at 5500 Grossmont Center Dr. Suite 212, La Mesa, CA, 91942.
North Coast- Scripps Del Mar Fairground Super Station
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is a drive-thru vaccination site where you can make San Diego COVID vaccine appointments. They were providing no-cost vaccines Friday 3/5 and will be doing the same on Friday 3/12 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 2260 Jimmy Durante BLVD, Del Mar, CA, 92014.
Sharp-City of Coronado
The Sharp vaccination in Coronado is located at 1845 Strand Way, Coronado, CA, 92118. Make an appointment for a free vaccination Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is a walk-thru site.
North Coastal Live Well Center
The North Coastal Live Well center is located at 3708 Ocean Ranch BLVD. in San Diego. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and is a walk-thru vaccination site where you should make an appointment.
San Marcos Vaccine Super Station at Cal State University, San Marcos
The San Marcos Vaccine Super Station is located in the sports center at 103 Campus View Dr., San Marcos, CA, 92078. It is a walk-thru vaccination site where appointments are required for free vaccinations. Its hours are Sunday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido
The drive-thru vaccination site in Downtown Escondido is at the Palomar Medical Center. Appointments are required for no-cost vaccinations. You can get vaccinated from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The address is 555 E. Valley PKWY, Escondido, 92025.
With so many vaccination sites available in San Diego, as individuals get their shots we will be able to get through the pandemic. As the country gets vaccinated, people will be able to have some fun. People will feel more comfortable about going out. When you feel comfortable enough to do something, you can check out the things to do in San Diego during COVID. While the pandemic will not be over just because people are vaccinated, the pressure will be alleviated and normalcy will slowly return.
About the author: Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has worked for a variety of publications including The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, AI TIme Journal, Addiction Now, and many more.