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COVID Vaccine Is Getting the Job Done in Fresno and Around the World

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Though it’s not concrete evidence of the COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness, the data shows a sharp drop in the number of employees calling in sick at Community Medical Centers since a vaccine became available.

And those results are being replicated from Visalia to Sacramento to Israel.

In fact, UC Davis Health in northern California believes its staff is nearing “herd immunity.”

On Dec. 23, CMC had 474 employees either in self-isolation or suffering firsthand from COVID-19. At that time, the Fresno-based healthcare system wasn’t reporting data on how many workers had been vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the number of employees unavailable because of the coronavirus was 281 — a 40% drop.

Keep in mind, CMC began its first round of COVID-19 vaccinations on Dec. 18. Through Wednesday, it had vaccinated 4,933 of the system’s frontline workers.

CMC workforce snapshot Jan. 13, 2021. Nearly 5,000 workers have been vaccinated. (CMC Facebook)

Kaweah Delta Medical Center

Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia is seeing a similar trend.

On Dec. 21, 231 employees were impacted by COVID-19. As of Monday, that number had declined to 157 — a 32% decrease.

Moreover, Kaweath Delta has seen a decline in COVID-impacted employees for three straight weeks.

Kaweah Delta Medical Center posts an online chart showing COVID-19 impact on the workforce. (www.kaweahdelta.org)

UC Davis Health: 50% Decline in Employees Reporting COVID-19

“We have already seen a nearly 50% decline in employees reporting COVID-19 since we started vaccinations, and we are on the cusp of creating herd immunity inside our walls.” – UC Davis Health CEO Dr. David Lubarsky

UC Davis Health in the Sacramento region has 14,000 employees, 1,000 students, and 1,000 faculty members.

GV Wire℠ obtained a copy of an internal memo that CEO Dr. David Lubarsky sent to staff on Friday, Jan. 8.

“UC Davis Health’s rate of vaccination continues to be far ahead of most other health systems and employees are reporting only minimal and expected side effects,” wrote Lubarsky. “We have already seen a nearly 50% decline in employees reporting COVID-19 since we started vaccinations, and we are on the cusp of creating herd immunity inside our walls.”

12,000 of the system’s 13,000 staff members had received at least their first vaccine doses Lubarsky told the New York Times. In recent weeks, the number of employees with COVID peaked at 135. This week, he said, that number is in the 20s.

Fresno Board of Supervisors Want To Know

Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes asked interim county health officer Dr. Rais Vohra on Tuesday about the effectiveness of the vaccine so far.

“When will you know how effective the vaccine is with the healthcare workers?” asked Mendes.

Vohra says the data will come in a couple of different ways.

“First, the hospitals themselves are doing very aggressive testing and screening of their healthcare workers,” said Vohra, pointing to recent staffing numbers showing fewer employees out sick or isolating. “We expect it (will continue) to go down because the healthcare workforce is getting more and more vaccinated.

“Secondly, I think at the national level, we’re going to need research on antibody levels.”

Vohra said that initial studies have started but on a very small scale.

Israel’s Real-World Stats Can Be Globe’s Guide

Israel released data Tuesday by the Health Ministry showing that the vaccine significantly cut down infection levels among sample sizes even before full protection kicks in after the second of two doses, the Times of Israel reported.

A Health Ministry official announced that the vaccine curbs infections by some 50% 14 days after the first of two shots is administered. She said that the data is preliminary, and based on the results of coronavirus tests among both those who have received the vaccine and those who haven’t, who are are serving as a de facto control group.

Separately, two of Israel’s four healthcare providers announced their own figures, which diverged somewhat from the Health Ministry’s data: Maccabi cited a 60% reduction in infections while Clalit reported a smaller reduction.

Clalit’s innovation chief Ran Balicer, who also chairs the government’s expert advisory team on dealing with the pandemic, said that those who received vaccines have normal infection rates until immunity appears to kick in after about two weeks.

Maccabi reported that the rate of infection decreased from about 40 out of 100,000 people in the first 12 days after vaccination to about 15 per 100,000 on days 13 to 21 — a 60% reduction.

It’s unclear exactly why the figures vary, but one factor appears to be the fact that Maccabi included vaccinated people of all ages in its study, while Clalit didn’t.