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County embarks on ‘monumental effort’ to vaccinate

Posted on January 21, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Despite inadequate supplies and logistical challenges, Sonoma County will soon have the capacity to vaccinate more than 2,000 people a day at seven clinic locations, supervisors announced today. But as yet, no Sonoma Valley site is yet confirmed in what must be “a monumental effort” to curb the virus. 

“Most of all we need a community commitment to being patient as we distribute vaccines in the most equitable way possible, making sure that those most vulnerable and most at risk are vaccinated first,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Already nearly 24,000 vaccinations have been administered in the County. That number that does not include federally-managed vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities.

Officials also announced on Thursday that Sonoma County has completed Phase 1a Tier 1 of the vaccination distribution plan, having successfully vaccinated frontline health-care workers, paramedics and related workers.

Vaccinations are now underway for those in Phase 1a, Tier 2 and Tier 3, which include specialty clinic staff, laboratory workers, and dental clinic staff. Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s Health Officer, said that the County expects to be ready to start vaccinating in early February those in Phase 1b Tier 1 — individuals 65 and older, teachers and child care providers, emergency service workers, and food and agriculture workers.

“With Phase 1b, we will eventually distribute the vaccine to a much larger population of essential workers and vulnerable adults. But we are going to need a greater allotment of vaccines,” Mase said. “It will take a historic effort to scale up the vaccination rollout, and we are working with many partner organizations and volunteer vaccinators on this monumental task.”

Getting enough people in the community vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity will require a “total community commitment” from all sectors including health care, education, business as well as agriculture, labor and nonprofit groups, supervisors said.

Participation will range from hosting vaccination clinics at community centers or places of employment to volunteering and sharing accurate and timely information on what vaccination opportunities exist for family members, coworkers, friends and neighbors.

 “We are partnering with our health-care providers to distribute the vaccines as quickly as possible, but we are limited by how many vaccines we receive here in Sonoma County,” Hopkins said. “We are going to continue to move quickly and safely through the different phases of the plan, but we are all going to need to be patient until it is our turn.”

The separate federal program to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities is still ongoing, but Sonoma County Department of Health Services has committed to assist that effort to ensure all residents and employees of skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities are vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Vaccination clinics that are in operation or soon to open include:

  • AMR and fire agency clinic for first responders and law enforcement at Public Health Lab, with capacity for 200 per day.
  • Sonoma County Medical Association clinic for health-care providers at Grace Pavilion, with capacity for 300 per day. (Additional lanes will also be available at Grace which has a capacity for up to 1,200 per day.)
  • Safeway clinic for in-home supportive services workers at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, with capacity for 300 per day.
  • Clinical Health Appraisals clinic for Public Health field workers at County Administration building, with capacity for 200 per day.
  • DEMA Consulting clinic for community health promoters at Roseland Library, with capacity for 200 per day.
  • The Fitness Center at Santa Rosa Junior College-Petaluma Campus, which will have capacity for more than 300 vaccinations per day.
  • Huerta Gym in the Town of Windsor, with a capacity for 300 or more vaccinations per day.

In addition, the County is looking at setting up vaccination centers in Sonoma Valley and in West County and hopes to have these identified by next week.

These do not include all the vaccinations that are also underway through hospitals, health care providers, federally qualified health centers, and CVS and Walgreens.

Officials also plan to expand existing sites or open new vaccination centers in early February to begin serving Phase 1b populations, including:

  • Teachers, in partnership with Sonoma County Office of Education 
  • Food and agriculture workers 
  • Residents 65 and older 

Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement that those 65 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine has caused some confusion about prioritization. Supervisors made clear today that beginning in early February, residents 65 and older in Sonoma County will have several options to obtain the vaccine. The vaccine will be dependent on available supply. Options include:

  • Primary care provider: A patient’s personal physician or health care provider will be the primary source of obtaining the vaccine.
  • Federally qualified health centers: Patients without a primary care provider will have an opportunity to obtain the vaccine at one of these health centers.
  • Safeway pharmacy: Sonoma County has partnered with Safeway to provide the vaccines at 11 pharmacies countywide.
  • Vaccination centers: Residents will be able to obtain the vaccine from one of the vaccination centers noted above.

New data: Officials encouraged county residents and workers to go to SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine for up-to-date information on the progress of the rollout. The dashboard at SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine tracks the number of Sonoma County residents who have been vaccinated. As of Thursday, the latest update is:

  • Vaccine doses administered in Sonoma County: 23,787 
    • Residents who have received a first dose: 13,721
    • Residents fully vaccinated with two doses: 5,033

Direction for volunteers: Finally, licensed health care workers interested in volunteering as vaccinators in the new vaccination clinics can sign up at SoCoEmergency.org/VaccineVolunteers.

For information including the latest vaccine numbers, who’s eligible for a vaccine and how to receive a vaccine, community members are encouraged to visit SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine, or call 2-1-1.

Where to take a free Covid test.

 



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