UC San Diego will open a COVID-19 vaccination superstation on campus

A man walks past three other people on the campus of UC San Diego.
Students on the campus of UC San Diego.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)

UC San Diego will open a COVID-19 vaccine superstation on its main campus on Feb. 8, where it will inoculate 5,000 people a day if it can obtain enough vaccine, which is in tight supply throughout the country.

The walk-through center will operate out of Rimac Arena and could nearly double the number of vaccinations the university is already giving each day at the superstation it runs with the county outside Petco Park in downtown San Diego.

Other institutions are running superstations in San Marcos and Chula Vista in addition to one that opened early Tuesday at the Grossmont Center mall in La Mesa.

“Our goal is to create a superstation on campus that would help us [inoculate] our patients, campus employees and then the community at large in concert with the county and school districts so that we have another large network site,” said Patty Maysent, CEO of UCSD Health.

Supply shortages. Data problems. A fragmented system of 61 local health departments. They all contributed to California’s lagging vaccination rate.

Feb. 2, 2021


The university chose Rimac Arena because it is easily accessible and has lots of parking. About 2,500 UCSD students have volunteered to help run the superstation. UCSD also will get help from students in its schools of medicine and pharmacy, both which are on campus.

Maysent said Tuesday, however, that “I’m not confident” the university will quickly obtain all of the vaccine it needs. “We’re going to put a lot of pressure on the state to get us more vaccine because we’re actually getting it out of our freezers and getting it to risk groups and our tiered groups.

“We got a big allocation for [the Petco site] at the end of last week. We’ll have gone through that entire allocation by Thursday.”

UCSD has administered more than 100,000 vaccinations at Petco since mid-January, most of them to recipients in specific categories, such as essential workers and people 65 and older. The university, which is the county’s second-largest employer, will focus on eligible employees and patients from its healthcare system. But the site will also broadly serve the general public. And UCSD will place a lot of emphasis on vaccinating teachers when eligibility requirements broaden later this month.