South San Francisco Firefighters Help Administer Covid-19 Vaccines to South City Residents in Old Town

South San Francisco, CA  April 7, 2021  Submitted by Leslie Arroyo, PIO, City of SSF

400 vaccines administered in the Old Town neighborhood


In partnership with the County of San Mateo, the City of South San Francisco vaccinated 400 residents in the downtown area of South San Francisco, an area that has been hit hard by the pandemic. The majority of the City’s Latinx community lives in this area, a community that consists of many front-line and service-industry workers who are most exposed to the Covid-19 virus.
“We know all of our residents are eager to get vaccinated, and this was an opportunity for those who are at greatest risk to get a free vaccine shot coordinated by the County,” said Mayor Mark Addiego. “And having the City’s paramedic-firefighters administering the vaccine to our residents underscored the true community nature of this pop-up vaccine event.” The City of South San Francisco is the only city in San Mateo County to operate its own independent ambulance service, which allows local paramedics to respond quickly to the city’s health emergencies. The City’s paramedic-firefighters are specially trained to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and have been used to administer vaccines at the San Mateo County Event Center and at SFO Airport over the past few weeks.
The San Mateo County Public Health Department has sponsored pop-up vaccine events around the County, targeting areas that have experienced both high case rates and significantly lower vaccination rates than the County average. “The census tracts in the Old Town neighborhood of South San Francisco satisfy that metric, thus why we were chosen to participate,” added Mayor Addiego.
Five South San Francisco paramedic-firefighters and two County vaccinators were able to administer the vaccines over the course of five hours this past Saturday. The City’s Emergency Services Manager and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) planning team were on-site to facilitate the pop-up center. Spanish-speaking translators were on site, and according to Ken Anderson, Emergency Services Manager for the City, “residents we spoke to were very grateful for the opportunity to get their first of two doses of this vaccine.”
“The City continues to look for additional opportunities to get more vaccines into the arms of our residents and is doing everything it can in working with the County to make this a reality,” added Anderson. “The most efficient way right now to get your vaccine is to sign up at”
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