Palomar Health Monday unveiled the region’s first COVID-19 Resource Clinic that offers vaccines, testing and monoclonal anti-body therapy in one location. These services are open to the public and available by appointment only by going to Palomar Health’s website. Anti-body therapy is offered by physician referral only.
“What we have here is what our nation needs – the triple threat against the virus: The identification through testing, the vaccination for those who haven’t contracted it and the monoclonal antibody treatment for those who test positive for it,” said Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen. “We are the only site in San Diego County to have this approach and I believe, the only site in the nation.”
“I want to thank Palomar Health for being such a strong partner in the County’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” 3rd District Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said in remarks at Monday’s press conference in front of the former Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido. “The County is continuing to accelerate our efforts to vaccinate people across the region…at sites like this one.”
Mayor Paul McNamara spoke at the opening: “This is a great benefit to the city of Escondido especially when one considers that we have higher density and vulnerable populations. The convenience this provides to our working residents cannot be understated. I want to thank the county and Palomar Hospital for its leadership in this endeavor. I also want to thank the City staff that worked diligently and efficiently on the behind the scenes logistics such as the traffic control plan, access points, emergency planning and so much more. As well as thanking our CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers who are supporting the Vaccination Super Station by serving in a public safety role on-site. When we work together we can get anything accomplished. Finally please remember to comply with the social distancing and other protocols so we beat this virus once and for all.”
Vaccinations are offered Tuesday ¬– Saturday, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are offered on select days, subject to availability. The Clinic hosted its first patients on Saturday, February 6, vaccinating 400 people. The Clinic accommodates both drive through vehicles and walk through pedestrians under the climate protection of the three level parking garage. When fully operational the site will be able to vaccinate more than 1,000 people per day.
COVID-19 drive through testing (pedestrians accommodated) is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-5 p.m. by appointment only. Monoclonal anti-body therapy is offered seven days per week, 12 hours per day (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.) utilizing space in the now closed hospital. Monoclonal antibody therapy has been used to fight cancer for years and uses laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. When an antibody finds its target, it binds with the antigen and helps the immune system kill the diseased cell. The process intravenously infuses COVID-19 infected patients with a 16-minute drip treatment that has proven to reduce symptoms and improve patient outcomes. The treatment is expected to save lives and reduce hospital admissions. Patients must first receive a physician referral before scheduling an appointment (not available online.)