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COVID Vaccine Site Opens At VTA Light Rail Station in San Jose

SAN JOSE (KPIX) -- Although ridership is down on the South Bay's light rail system because of COVID, the Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Teresa Station are stepping up in the push to get people vaccinated.

The VTA turned 900 mostly un-used parking spots at its Santa Teresa Light Rail Park and Ride lot into the latest walk up and drive through COVID vaccination site.

No appointment is required, but officials would prefer interested parties make plans in advance

"This is just such a prime location. Everyone is just going to be able to drive in if they see the sign and say let's pop in and get vaccinated," said Sergio Jimenez, who represents the neighborhood on the San Jose City Council.

Carmen Marino came through the site and in just a few minutes got her second dose.

"It's super convenient. I love that you can stay in your car," said Marino.

In its first full week of operation, the site expects to administer between 500 and 1,000 shots a day.

People can also ride a VTA train to the station for free and walk in, but most people were driving into the site on Monday.

The site is part of the push in Santa Clara County to remove barriers and give everyone age 16 and older who is eligible access to the vaccine.

The site's medical director said the convenience factor is already helping reluctant people.

"They feel comfortable being in the car. We've experienced having whole families come in to get the vaccine; not only one person, but families," said Dr. Victor Salazar of Bay Area Community Health.

Marisol Valenzuela was one of those who was holding out, until COVID hit home and a beloved aunt came down with the coronavirus.

"Here I am with my first dose. I have two more minutes to see how I'm feeling. I'm very glad I got it done. There was no more time for waiting," Valenzuela said.

The site is currently open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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