Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who represents Central and East San Jose, speaks to the media gathered at the Santa Clara County building on December 14, 2020. (Jana Kadah/Bay City News)

As part of Santa Clara County’s efforts to reach disproportionally impacted communities, the county opened another vaccination site in East San Jose on Friday.

The new site at Valley Health Center’s East Valley location on McKee Road is near Regional Medical Center and other services in East San Jose.

County officials said the site has the capacity to inoculate a few hundred people a day.

“In Santa Clara County we are confronting vaccine distribution inequities head-on by going directly to our residents disproportionately hit by COVID and vaccinating them where they live,” said County Supervisor Cindy Chavez who represents Central and East San Jose.

Chavez said its location is ideal because the people working at the site understand the community, their language and culture – an understanding critical to establishing trust among residents and therefor increasing the number of vaccinations.

This latest addition is also part of the county’s efforts to increase capacity as vaccination eligibility expands on Monday.

At the end of the month workers in childcare and education, emergency services, and food and agriculture qualify for the vaccine.

And starting March 15, those 16 and older with at least one severe health condition will also be able to sign up for vaccine appointments.

“The County Health System is leading the way in getting our county vaccinated despite daunting logistical and supply challenges,” said County Supervisor Otto Lee. “We are committed to realizing the goal of achieving parity in vaccine access across our diverse communities, and sites like East Valley Clinic will help us get there.”

As of Friday, the county has vaccinated nearly 177,000 first doses and almost 60,000 second doses with about 60,000 appointments scheduled over the next seven days, officials said.

About 18 percent of the county’s 16 years and older population and more than 50 half of the county’s 65 and older population has received at least one dose.

Dr. Rocio Luna, Deputy County Executive for the County of Santa Clara said the newest metrics represent “significant progress” in vaccinating those most at risk.

But regardless of supply, which is not in the county’s control, Luna said the county has the capacity to inoculate its residents.

Appointments for East Valley Clinic and other vaccination locations can be made through the County’s website at sccfreevax.org or by calling 211.