When Kaiser Permanente and Cal Poly Pomona teamed up to launch a mass vaccination hub on campus, COVID-19 cases were on the rise and the effort to distribute the doses needed to slow the spread was in its early stages.
Three months later, more than 300,000 vaccinations have been provided at the site and with the number of cases of the virus decreasing, the time was right for the hub to close.
The mass vaccination hub, run by a consortium of health organizations and led by Kaiser Permanente, was launched on Feb. 5 in response to the need to help fight the spread of the pandemic. The effort gave the university an opportunity to join in the fight and deepen its budding partnership with Kaiser Permanente.
“We have been immensely proud to partner with Kaiser and the entire consortium in making the vaccination hub a success,” said Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley. “Cal Poly Pomona has been an anchor institution in Southern California for more than 80 years, and we see ourselves not only as providing an outstanding educational experience for our students that launches them into social mobility, but we also see ourselves as a partner in the social, economic and health wellbeing of our community and beyond.”
The site, located in Parking Structure 2, had the capacity to serve 6,000 people a day, getting them from check-in through recovery in 35 to 45 minutes. The hub was open to Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty and staff, and also nearby residents in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
This was not the first time Cal Poly Pomona has partnered with the healthcare giant. Last fall, the university and Kaiser Permanente did a mobile flu vaccination clinic for CPP employees and students. Kaiser considered Cal Poly Pomona’s central location to four counties in the heart of Southern California and its proximity to underserved communities such as Pomona as a plus in opening up a hub.
“Cal Poly Pomona was a critical and trusted partner in Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve access to vaccinations at the height of this global pandemic, and it certainly would not have been possible without the support we received from University President Dr. Soraya M. Coley,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii, Health Plan and Hospitals.
“As we shift our focus to a mobile strategy reaching residents of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys where they live, we are incredibly grateful to all of the men and women who worked to vaccinate thousands of Californians at the mass vaccination hub.”
Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval attended the opening day event for the hub and has lauded Kaiser Permanente’s and Cal Poly Pomona’s effort to make sure that communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 have access to the vaccine.
“Ensuring equitable access for all to vaccine sites is especially challenging for underserved communities,” Sandoval said. “I applaud the partnership between Cal Poly Pomona and Kaiser Permanente and their invaluable role in helping Pomona residents get vaccinated. This is truly a monumental accomplishment toward improving our collective public health.”
Visit the Vaccine Hub website to see photos, video, testimonials and stories.