The drive-through clinic will be located at the Larkspur Landing ferry terminal and will “soft launch” on Sunday, February 21, providing 200 COVID-19 vaccinations per day the first week of operations. Shipments of vaccine supply planned for use at this location were delayed by the severe storms across the midwestern United States, so daily appointments will increase as supplies are delivered and operations develop. Eventually, the site will expand to offer up to 1,500 doses per day.
The District has partnered with the County of Marin and Curative to open the new point of dispensing (POD) site. Personnel from Marin County fire agencies will also assist with POD staffing. Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Public Health Officer, told the Marin County Board of Supervisors on February 9 that a POD for vaccinations could be opened within about two weeks at a centralized location.
“Providing a vaccination location that is accessible by personal vehicle, paratransit and public transit options is an important factor in removing barriers to the vaccine ensuring health equity for our most vulnerable residents,” Willis said.
The ferry terminal is at 101 E. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, just east of Highway 101. Appointments are required and are limited to Marin residents age 65 and older who can show proof of age and residency. Appointments for the new site will go live Saturday, February 20, and will be accessible from Marin County Public Health’s vaccination options webpage.
Both the Bridge District and Curative were eager to assist with creating the new partnership. Curative has operated COVID-19 testing locations in Marin since December 21. The new POD will be the second Curative-led vaccination location in Marin. Curative joined the County’s mobile vaccine operations February 9.
The Bridge District is providing the use of its property at no cost to help address the public health emergency. It plans to devote a portion of its parking lot to the POD while keeping spaces available for those using the ferry service. Ferry ridership has declined dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving ample space in the ferry terminal lot to accommodate the new POD. Bridge District staff will also provide traffic management and on-site support to Curative and Public Health.
“It is important that we do everything we can to help our community overcome and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, so we reached out to the County to be part of the solution,” said Denis Mulligan, General Manager of the Bridge District. “We are thrilled to be a partner in providing Marin County residents a safe and efficient mass vaccination site at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.”
In addition, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is offering Marin residents free train rides to the Larkspur station for vaccine appointment holders at the ferry terminal POD. If approached by a train conductor, appointment holders can simply mention that are going to the vaccination site when asked for payment. Marin Transit will offer a shuttle to and from the train station to the nearby vaccine site for those with mobility issues, however, those who prefer to walk from the station are permitted to access the site on foot. The new vaccine site can also accommodate paratransit vehicles.
Since vaccine doses first arrived in Marin on December 16, approximately 17% of Marin residents – more than 44,000 people – have received at least one dose of the vaccine, in addition to many Marin health care workers who live outside the county. Marin County Public Health’s vaccine efforts account for 70% of all doses administered locally so far. While vaccine shortages only provide a few thousand doses per week, Marin continues to rank second among medium and large California counties in terms of vaccine distribution per 100,000 residents.
Public Health continues to focus on delivering COVID-19 shots to health care workers, first responders, and residents 65 years old and over. Residents with health insurance are urged to contact their health providers first about getting vaccinated but may seek vaccine from other locations in Marin.
There are several ways for Marin residents to learn the latest information about vaccine distribution and prepare for when it’s their turn for a shot.