For more than a year, the Mountain View Community Center has been a crucial outpost for providing COVID-19 vaccines in the North County. But with demand for vaccines down and more than 85% of county residents now fully vaccinated, the county plans to close down the site later this month.
Santa Clara County health officials confirmed Monday that the vaccination center will take its final appointments on May 25 before winding down operations, allowing the community center to revert back to recreation programs run by the city. The site has administered more than 138,000 shots since its launch in January 2021, and it remains one of the only county-run vaccination sites north of San Jose.
The city partnered with the county in a rush to open more mass vaccination sites in January 2021, at a time of pent-up demand, tight restrictions on who could get a vaccine and blurred rules on whether privately insured residents could even get a county-administered vaccine. As eligibility expanded, the site became immensely popular with a line winding around Rengstorff Park.
The site was built to handle as many as 1,000 vaccines per day, and in the first few weeks administered 9,000 shots. The demand remained high through May of last year, in part because of its convenient location for North County residents.
The conversion from a recreation center to a destination clinic took less than a week, working with the county to play a "pivotal" role in making the region among the most vaccinated in the country, said Dr. Jennifer Tong, associate chief medical officer of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in a statement Monday.
"The site has been a wonderful location for residents living in the north part of our county," Tong said.
County data shows the highest demand for first and second shots of the vaccine petered out by July 2021 -- reaching an all-time high of 10,998 in a single day -- but spiked again from October through January 2022 as residents returned for booster shots.
The numbers increased slightly in March with second booster doses, and have remained consistent throughout the spring.
With lower demand and a return of in-person and recreation activities hosted by the city, the community center will once again revert to its original purpose, according to Lenka Wright, Mountain View's public information officer.
"With this site closing, the city can resume providing the community with in-demand recreation programming including summer camps and special events," Wright said.
With contagious omicron subvariants of COVID-19 spreading in recent weeks, the county is still urging residents to be on high alert and remember that the pandemic has not ended. Mountain View, for its part, is still open to a partnership with the county to slow the spread of the virus.
"The city is willing to work with the county for future pop-up events including COVID-19 vaccination and testing," Wright said.