‘We’re in a different place now’: How Fresno County is improving the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno County is racing to get the COVID-19 vaccine administered while ironing out the process along the way.

This week the Fresno Fairgrounds turned into a mass distribution site. Between there and several other locations, the Fresno County Department of Health was able to reach its goal of 3,000 doses administered in a single day.

Fresno County’s community health division manager Joe Prado says they have asked the state to increase their allotment.

“We need to demonstrate that Fresno County is ready to take a higher allocation and honestly we couldn’t say that two weeks ago. We’re in a different place now.”

Prado said this week they received 47,000 doses and have reallocated 77%. He says it’s a significant increase.

Another large order will be in next week, with more providers also expected to come online. Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said about 100 have applied so far.

“We really think that in the next week or two we’re going to be hearing a lot more about a lot of primary care clinics and other sites that our Fresno County residents can go to,” said Vohra.

The Department of Public Health is also looking at more vaccine distribution sites with hopes of expanding to rural areas. Officials are floating ideas of using current testing sites, but say because recipients must be monitored for bad reactions after injection, not all of them would work.

“The one single difference is that 15 minute observation period that you don’t have to do after your test but you do have to do after you vaccinate. That can be a bottleneck,” said Rick Lembo with Sierra Pacific Orthopedics.

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