Fresno County health officials say they used to get at least a two week notice about how much COVID-19 vaccine they would receive from the state. That was before the announcement last week by the federal government that they didn’t have additional vaccine doses in reserve like they’d previously stated.
“It continues to shrink,” says Fresno County Community Health Manager Joe Prado referring to how much advance notice he now receives about expected vaccines. “I would love to get a full 30 day allocation.”
Prado now has to manage the amount of vaccine going out in weekly increments because he’s not exactly sure how much he’ll get.
“We are going to have to dial down our our daily count from 3,000 (doses) a day to something less so that we can continue to offer vaccines every single day.”–Fresno County interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra
“We’ve got vaccines that we had planned to use this week, so we’re not necessarily going to run out of vaccines that soon,” says Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra. “We are going to have to dial down our our daily count from 3,000 (doses) a day to something less so that we can continue to offer vaccines every single day.”
Just last week, the county administered 12,000 vaccine doses at three separate sites. That number does not include vaccinations by providers that are receiving direct allotments.
Of the 86,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses the county has received, they’ve already got plans for 100% of them. That includes second doses for people that have already received their first dose.
Vohra says they “absolutely” want to avoid a situation where a first dose recipient is unable to get a second dose.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections and deaths in the county are not abating. The state updated its online dashboard Tuesday to show Fresno County with an 18.3% positivity rate and 75.2 cases per 100,000 residents.
This leaves the county deep in the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier guiding business operations, school re-openings and other impacts.
More Providers Needed
Even with the uncertainty in vaccines coming into the county, they still want to get more providers that can administer the vaccine.
As of last week, there were 94 providers enrolled or in the process of being enrolled into the program.
“We requested that the state needs to send us more vaccine doses, but at the same time we’re going to continue to build this capacity as best as we can,” says Vohra.
To that end, with the help of the Fresno-Madera Medical Society, the county is encouraging primary care physicians to sign up for a Saturday webinar aimed at preparing them to administer vaccines.
Vohra says, “We want to have as many providers as we can.”
Vaccine Interest Form
Fresno County has created an online interest form to help officials with vaccination planning.
Those who sign up will receive a notification when vaccinations are available in their applicable tier or when the vaccine is made widely available to the general public.
Here is a link: Fresno County COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form