A health care worker draws a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo via Joseph Lemieux/Flickr)

Santa Clara County began offering drop-in COVID-19 vaccinations through a mobile community based-clinic this week at sites in East San Jose and Gilroy.

The new drop-in sites are a part of the county’s efforts to reach residents that have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus.

“These new clinics ensure vaccines are available close to home, on a walk-up basis. It simplifies the process for many,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

By removing preregistration requirements, those who do not have access to a computer or internet still have access to vaccines.

The drop-in sites will use a system similar to the one used by Gardner Health at the Mexican Heritage Center in East San Jose, where residents register onsite and get a time-stamped wristband to come back for their appointment on the same day.

Chavez said if the county wants to reach its goal of vaccinating 85% of the county by Aug. 1, it would need to have vaccination sites like this — easy-to-use clinics in the neighborhoods of the most vulnerable communities.

The new drop-in sites move away from the “traditional, cookie cutter” vaccination sites, Chavez said.

County leaders also published a new interactive map that breaks each ZIP code’s cumulative case count, population, and rate per 100,000 residents.

The ZIP codes with the highest case rates of COVID-19 cases are 95122 (13,098), 95116 (11,119), 95020 (10,628), 95111 (10,216) and 95127 (10,173).

The top five ZIP codes are in East San Jose except 95020, which is in Gilroy.

San Jose, Gilroy and Morgan Hill also have the highest COVID-19 rates among cities in Santa Clara County, according to the county’s dashboard.

“East San Jose and Gilroy residents continue to face the highest risk transmission, and these communities also face barriers to vaccine access,” said Rocio Luna, deputy director of the county’s public health department. “The new, community-based locations are part of our strategy to make vaccinations available in a variety of ways, break down barriers, and increase access for our most impacted communities.”

Luna noted that while most folks are getting inoculated by their health care provider, that is not an option for everyone.

“We need to continue employing numerous approaches to reach everyone, especially those most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19,” Luna said.

The mobile clinic drop-in sites will operate at the Gilroy Senior Center, 7371 Hanna St., Gilroy, and the Public Health Story Road Hub, 1775 Story Road, San Jose.

Vaccinations will be available on Wednesdays in Gilroy starting at 8 a.m. In San Jose, the site will be open on Thursdays and Fridays with on-site registration starting at 8:30 a.m.

Vaccination appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis for both sites.

To access the new ZIP code data dashboard, visit: https://sccgov.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b90dc6181a9f481a956aef9218b84d0a.