‘We made it happen’: Fresno County flies extra doses to Humboldt County as vaccine demand drops locally

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A special delivery for Humboldt County this week as thousands of much-needed COVID-19 vaccine doses were flown in from Fresno County.

“We received two trays, about 3,000 doses of Pfizer that we actually didn’t order because our vaccine initiative is winding down. It’ll be finished next Friday,” said Rick Lembo, Director of Sports Medicine at Sierra-Pacific Orthopedics.

Sierra-Pacific Orthopedics had been storing extra doses when they heard Humboldt County was in need – and would have to cancel 400 appointments if they didn’t get more vaccines by the next day.

Sierra-Pacific Orthopedics coordinated with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office for an air delivery.

“Driving time up to Eureka is about eight, eight-and-a-half hours. However, our airplane could make it in about 2 and a half,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. “So we made it happen.”
The vaccines made it there just in time, so Humboldt County didn’t have to cancel any of those 400 appointments.

Sheriff Mims said it was a necessary exchange since Humboldt County needed those doses much more than Fresno County, where demand for vaccines is dropping.

“We’re probably averaging about last week about 4,000 doses a day, so that’s about a mid-drop from our high-peak time in mid-March,” said Joe Prado with the Fresno County Health Department. “Our dose order next week is only 3,000 doses for next week. There’s just not much of a demand.”

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