Central Valley counties experience disparities in vaccine allocation


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The Merced County Department of Public Health has made the decision to put its vaccination clinics on hold for a week due to a lack of supply.

According to officials, Merced County continues to receive the second-worst per capita vaccine allocation in the state.

As of noon on Jan. 30, Merced County has received 11,657 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to Fresno County’s 70,000 and Madera County’s 9,000.

Over in Tulare County, which has received nearly 26,000 doses of the vaccine, Kaweah Delta Medical Center has announced it is standing down its readiness to triage, limit or ration care because of a significant decline in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in recent weeks.

“Our conditions have improved significantly from where we were just a few weeks ago. We were literally on the brink of crisis care. I am very pleased,” said the CEO of Kaweah Delta, Gary Herbst.

In Kings County, which has received just over 5,000 doses of the vaccine, a collaboration between Adventist Health, the Kings County Department of Public Health and the Hanford Joint Union High School District led to more than 1,000 healthcare workers and those over the age of 65 receiving the Moderna vaccine at an event on Saturday.

“I think a lot of people that are coming in today are really happy about the vaccine being available and us coming out to support the community,” said Dr. Raul Ayala, the Ambulatory Services medical director for Adventist Health in the Central Valley.

In Merced, officials have decided to dedicate all of the remaining vaccine doses to providing second doses to people who have already received the first one. Officials at the federal, state and local levels continue to call on Governor Newsom and the state’s department of health for more vaccine doses.

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