Nearly 80% of Santa Clara County residents ages 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 70% are fully vaccinated, but to get that final segment of the community immunized, Mountain View's clinic is giving out shots on a drop-in basis.
"We're within striking distance of community immunity," Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian said on Tuesday, using his term for "herd" immunity.
COVID-19 vaccines are available to walk-ins at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. through June 30.
"We've come too far, been through too much to ease off now," Simitian said. "With a little more effort we really can reach herd immunity and just crush this virus. Every little bit of incremental progress is huge."
Herd immunity is the point at which enough of the population has immunity to a virus, making it hard for the virus to spread. Public health experts have offered varying estimates of that needed percentage, with some ranging up to 85%, Simitian said.
Vaccination rates in Mountain View ZIP codes lag slightly behind those in neighboring cities. About 75% to 78% of Mountain View's residents are fully inoculated, compared with 81.4% to 96% in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto.
Simitian is hoping the easy vaccine availability at the Mountain View site, with no appointment needed, will draw in people with vaccine hesitancy.
"Simplicity and convenience are key," he said. "You can drop in and receive the vaccine at no cost without having to prove residency."
Those receiving a vaccine will become eligible for raffle drawings for prizes, according to the county. More than 100 tickets to the Golden State Warriors, Harry Styles, the Weeknd, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber and other artists along with other prizes will be given away in the next few weeks to those who come to county-run vaccination sites, including Mountain View.
Each Wednesday at 2 p.m. from June 23 to July 28, eight to 10 winners will be announced on the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's Instagram Live feed @scc_publichealth.
Insurance is not required at the Mountain View site, which is right off Central Expressway. The vaccines are available to anyone ages 12 and up. Recipients do not have to live or work in the county.
Recipients can schedule an appointment for their second dose at the same time they receive their first shot.
"I urge folks to take advantage of this opportunity and get out and get vaccinated in June so we can all enjoy a safer summer," Simitian said.
Simitian said that efforts to publicize the offering have been done with flyers, door hangers and robo calls.
But as he put it: "Word of mouth is most effective. That's why I say, 'To be a friend, tell a friend.'"'