The north parking lot of Golden Gate Fields will be a mass vaccination site for Berkeley residents. Image: Google

The cities of Berkeley and Albany are partnering with Alameda County and Curative, Inc., to open a mass vaccination site this week for local residents who are 75 and older. The North County Mass Vaccination Site will be located in the north parking lot of the Golden Gate Fields racetrack just off Buchanan Street. Complete information from the city of Berkeley, including the appointment request form, appears below. See Berkeleyside’s COVID-19 vaccine FAQ for answers to many common questions.Update, Feb. 4, 12:50 p.m. The city has announced that appointments are now available on Thursday. Check the schedule for availability.

Matthai Chakko, city spokesperson, said the city made extra appointments available to test capacity during Thursday’s “soft launch.” Chakko said everyone eligible for the vaccine who had signed up for updates was emailed about the open slots. The site will be fully booked in the coming days, he added, but more appointments may become available as the city continues to test capacity.

Original story: Berkeley and Alameda County residents who are at least 75 years of age can sign up for one of a limited set of drive-through COVID-19 vaccination appointments starting on Friday, Feb. 5.

These vaccinations, which are being coordinated by the city of Berkeley at a site in Albany, align with state guidelines and target the ages most vulnerable to hospitalization and death as a result of the COVID-19 disease.

The vaccinations will take place Friday through Monday, Feb. 8, at the site, which is at the foot of Buchanan Street near the Albany Bulb. Make your appointments online. These appointment-only vaccinations are available for people seeking their first dose. Curative, Inc., the vendor, will add those with appointments into their notification system for second appointments.

The form asks for basic demographic information to confirm eligibility for an appointment. A confirmation email will be sent to anyone who secures an appointment.

Transport option for Berkeley seniors, disabled

For Berkeley residents who need physical assistance with mobility to get to the site, a ride service supported by the city can help some people get to their appointments for a $15 fee.

Once you have an appointment, contact Easy Does It at 510-704-2111 to register for services and schedule a ride. (Note: Please do not call or email Easy Does It for vaccine appointments.)

Easy Does It will ask health screening questions to ensure rider safety and the safety of the driver. Drivers wear personal protective equipment and face coverings are required of riders.

With vaccine supply limited, sign up for notification lists

The limited national vaccine supply means that it will take many months for vaccines to reach the general population.

No matter what your age, you can prepare by understanding what your health care provider’s process is and signing up for notification lists based on your eligibility.

The city of Berkeley’s list will be used to notify people when new vaccination opportunities are made available by Berkeley Public Health.

Large health care providers, such as Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, receive their own limited vaccine supply through the state and are beginning to schedule appointments for members age 75 or older:

  • Sutter Health patients who are health care workers or age 75 and older can schedule appointments online or by calling 844-987-6115.
  • Kaiser Permanente has stated it will contact members who are 75 or older directly when appointments are available. Kaiser Permanente members who are health care workers, emergency medical service providers, or long-term care patients can schedule an e-visit to request a vaccine appointment.

The limited supply of vaccines is also being distributed through other channels, such as a federal program for long-term care facilities and the health service for UC Berkeley.

No matter what list you are on, keep tabs on your email and take immediate action when you receive a notification that you are eligible to make an appointment.

Everyone will get the vaccine eventually, but it will take time

These safe, highly effective vaccines are free to the public. As federal supplies eventually increase, COVID-19 vaccines will also be available to all.

The two currently approved vaccines — Moderna and Pfizer — are for adults and each requires two doses to have roughly 95% efficacy.

All tools needed to end the pandemic

Each vaccination helps build up our resilience to the virus, even as it still kills thousands across the nation.

The vaccine is not a panacea. We need to use all the tools the CDC has identified to fight this pandemic. Everyone — even those who are vaccinated — needs to wear masks and avoid gatherings. Many people remain vulnerable.

Each time you wear a mask, avoid a gathering, keep distance from other households or get a vaccine, you help protect our community.

Ask your health care provider about vaccination scheduling. If you would like to receive information from the city of Berkeley as eligibility expands or appointments become available, sign up for the notification list.

Oakland will have a mass vaccination site, too

Another mass vaccination site, at the Oakland Coliseum, is slated to open later this month. Run by the federal government, it will make vaccines available to people who are 65 or older, teachers, food and agricultural workers, and those in childcare. That site is slated to open Feb. 16.

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Learn more about the Berkeleyside team. Questions? Email