Fresno County Health officials share plans for booster shots, hospitalizations still high


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – On Friday, the FDA made critical votes on COVID-19 booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine. A committee approved Pfizer booster shots for those 65 and older but voted against Pfizer booster shots for those 16 and older.

When demand for vaccines was high in the spring, Sierra Pacific Orthopedic served as a mass vaccination site to help Fresno County keep up. Joe Prado, Interim Assistant Director at Fresno County Public Health says if the FDA authorized Pfizer boosters for those 16 and older today, the mass vaccine site would’ve returned.

“We were already planning on mobilizing our mass vaccination site at Sierra Pacific Orthopedic and being able to provide doses five days per week,” Prado said.

Prado adds local providers are ready to mobilize quickly if and when more booster shots are authorized.

“We have to take into consideration that it’s not the same picture as it was back in January of 2021. We have a lot more doors available.”

Also at Friday’s briefing, Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra reported 366 people are currently hospitalized in the county with COVID-19, a slight improvement but still a problem.

“That’s a sliver lower than our peak which occurred sometime last week, topping over 400 patients hospitalized in our area hospitals,” Vohra said. “So that is a little bit of a good sign, although we’re being told things remain just as busy as ever.”

Dan Lynch Fresno County’s EMS director, says local hospitals like Clovis Community are being stretched thin.  

“Clovis still continues to be at 130% to 140% capacity, which is just a tremendous amount of workload, and just a bad situation.”

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