Fresno County Health Department asks the state for more vaccine supply, says they have capacity to administer 30,000 doses a week

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April 05 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – With three vaccine sites in Fresno County, the County Department of Public Health said they were able to administer 12,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine last week, said Joe Prado, who is leading the vaccine distribution effort in the county. This does not include doses hospitals and other medical providers have been administering.

The three vaccine sites currently in Fresno County include the Fresno Fairgrounds, Sierra Pacific Orthopedics and Central High School, where United Health Centers is administering doses.

The issue now is that the County Department of Public Health isn’t receiving enough supply for the system they’ve built so far.

Prado said they have the capacity to administer up to 30,000 doses a week but are expecting only 8,000 to 10,000 doses per week in the coming weeks.

“What we’re doing is making adjustments with our partners and making sure everyone has first and second doses,” Prado said. “So you’ll see some changes with scheduling for clinic slots.”

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state is given an allocation from the federal government. The state then allocates the doses to each county in the state. Ghaly said the counties then put in the orders that are then sent to the CDC. The doses are then shipped to the counties.

In Fresno County, those 75 and older and those in healthcare are eligible to get the vaccine. On Monday, United Health Centers administered 500 doses at Central High School. On Tuesday, hundreds of people lined up in their cars at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics to get the vaccine.

“We arrived at about 5:15 this morning. I had 250 cars lined up already,” said Rick Lembo, the director of sports medicine at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics.

The lack of vaccine supply is an issue throughout the Central Valley.

Carrie Monteiro, the public information officer with the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency, said they don’t have enough supply or enough volunteers to move past Phase 1A and start vaccinating those 75 and older.

In Madera County, registration for vaccine clinics are full because of limited vaccine supply.

Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said the county has proved that they can administer more vaccine than they have been receiving.

“We really are just having that conversation with the state that ‘you know we’ve handled the vaccine you’ve given us so well and we’re ready for really twice or three times as much of an allocation given the distribution system we’ve built,'” Vohra said.

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