FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Fresno County has seen a drop in demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in the last two weeks, and vaccine providers are changing their strategies to make the vaccine more accessible.
UCSF Fresno is looking to extend its hours at their Fresno City College site and is looking to put more emphasis on mobile clinics.
“While the numbers are trending down, what we’re going to do is we’re going to be extending hours. We’re going to be starting to look at how can we staff it longer so people can come after work, before work, weekends,” said Dr. Kenny Banh, the director of UCSF Mobile HeaL COVID-19 Equity Project. “It’s all about accessibility.”
The UCSF Fresno vaccination site serves as a first come first serve basis. Health insurance or documentation status are NOT needed.
Banh said mobile clinics are critical in reaching those who work long hours and may lack transportation.
“We’re going to start working on Sunday events. So now that churches are in session, we’re gonna start working with communities and churches, and see if we can start going to them and while they’re having in-person services, we can have a vaccine event at the same time. You can get vaccinated before or after you come out of service,” Banh said.
According to Fresno County’s most recent data, 34.4% of the county’s population has been vaccinated with at least one dose and around 45% of the 16 and older population in the county has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
Joe Prado, who has been leading the vaccine distribution effort in the county, said they expected to demand to slow down, but not as quickly as it did.
“We did think around May we would see this type of decline, so it did come sooner than we were anticipating, so now our plans that we had for May, we’re just moving them quicker into place, and that is really doing smaller mobile clinics in very targeted areas where we see a low vaccine uptake,” Prado said.
While the county does put an emphasis on mobile clinics, Banh said the UCSF Fresno vaccination site at Fresno City College will still be there vaccinating those 16 and older on a first come first serve basis.
“We can still capture a large number of people if we can make it more easily accessible. Our plan is that we will keep this open for as long as it serves its purpose which I think it will be necessary for the next couple of months,” Banh said.