FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – Vaccine appointments in Fresno County aren’t filling up as quickly as they have in prior weeks, said Joe Prado with the County Department of Public Health.
“We made some calls out to our medical providers, we’re seeing a lot of vacancies and appointments at the Fairgrounds and our mass vaccination sites,” Prado said.
He added that they’re going to ramp up their vaccine messaging to the community this next week.
“We’re getting close to that area where the supply is there but the demand really isn’t meeting it at this point. So before we say that’s official, really want to see what happens with additional messaging this week,” Prado said.
On April 15, all Californians 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, Tulare, Kings and Madera counties have already opened it to those who are 16 and older.
Prado said they’re going to continue to evaluate the demand the next couple of days before deciding whether to open it up to those 16 and older before April 15.
“I think we’re gonna definitely consider that. At this time, we want to get more education and outreach out to our partners to make sure that those individuals in those eligible tiers are aware of it and if there’s any pre-education we can do, we can do that pre-education to try to fill up those slots, but that is something we’re going to be evaluating,” Prado said.
Appointments at a couple of Fresno County vaccination sites are open via MyTurn, and the UCSF Fresno site at Fresno City College does not require any appointments. They take walk-ins and are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“No cost, no insurance information taken, so if you qualify, you should really come in,” said Dr. Kenny Banh, the director of the UCSF Mobile HeaL COVID-19 Equity Project.
Banh noted that if someone’s family member is eligible to get the vaccine, that person can also get the vaccine regardless if they themselves fall under the eligible tiers. He said the UCSF Fresno site does not ask for proof.
On Wednesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said based on their most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the UK variant is the most common lineage circulating in the U.S.
“We need to continue to accelerate our vaccination efforts and take the individual responsibility to get vaccinated when we can,” Walenski said.