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covid-19 vaccine

Sacramento County hopes to see vaccine distribution for general public by spring

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FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine vial at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, in South Los Angeles, California, U.S., December 17, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Public health experts are trying to do the most good they can with the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine coming in.

The first doses are being set aside for people in places like hospitals and nursing homes, and as more doses come in, more people will qualify either by age, occupation, or health conditions.

“Right now, we have a huge demand, much more than the vaccine that is coming in,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer.

When it comes to a rollout for the general public, Dr. Kasirye said the county is hoping to get to that point by spring.

For now, the focus is on making sure that the county gets through the initial batch of vaccinations and that the people with higher risk are covered first. Afterward, they'll look toward increasing outreach.

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With Latino COVID-19 cases a problem for Stanislaus County, vaccine education starts now

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. — For Stanislaus County, vaccine education for the Latino populations starts now.

With 64% of all the COVID-19 cases in the county being Latino, the way forward is inherently linked to getting the population vaccinated.

Kamlesh Kaur, a spokesperson for Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, said the Latino community was disproportionately impacted due in part to the sectors where many of them worked and due to many living in multi-generational households that spread the virus. 

Kaur said one of the key elements behind that 64% figure was the increased rates during the summer for Latinos and a lack of education and messaging.

“It (education) wasn’t as widespread at the time because it was also at the beginning of the pandemic, sort of,” Kaur said. “Since then, we have made a conscious effort in reaching out to the Latino community.”

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Today’s COVID-19 and vaccine updates for the Sacramento region

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 3,900 vaccines heading to Stanislaus County possibly by Thursday

Stanislaus County is expecting the arrival of 3,900 coronavirus vaccines, possibly by Thursday, health officials confirmed.

Bobby Moser, spokesperson for Stanislaus County Health Services, said major hospitals like Kaiser Permanente, Doctors Medical Center, and Sutter Health would be getting their own shipments while the county handled distribution for the smaller clinics. 

The vaccine comes at time when hospitals are being overwhelmed with surging COVID-19 cases. Moser said that the vaccines won't do much to mitigate the holiday surge of cases in the near future. However, he did say it was a glimmer of hope for the county at this time.

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County to receive 3,900 COVID vaccine doses

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Stanislaus County will be getting the initial allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines within days and will start administering it to frontline healthcare workers soon.

The county's first shipment will be 3,900 doses of the vaccination and is going to be given to frontline healthcare workers in the county, said Stanislaus County Health Services Agency spokesperson Kamlesh Kaur. The vaccine requires two shots for the highest level of protection, so the first shipment will not be enough to vaccinate all frontline healthcare workers, Kaur said.

The state received the first 33,000 doses from Pfizer on Monday. About 300,000 more doses are scheduled to be distributed this week and nearly 400,000 additional doses are expected next week, according to the Associated Press. Subsequent doses will also be set aside for healthcare workers, as well as residents and workers at long-term care and skilled-nursing facilities, who can expect to receive doses of the vaccine through local pharmacies.

Essential workers as well as those with medical conditions that leave them vulnerable to severe cases of the virus, will be among the next groups prioritized for vaccination, said Dr. Erica Pan, the acting state public health officer. The general public can expect to be vaccinated in the spring and summer.

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Stanislaus State donates medical freezers for COVID-19 vaccines

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TURLOCK, Calif. — The Central Valley is preparing to receive vaccines. Cal State University Stanislaus donated two medical-grade freezers to help store the vaccines in the county.

The university freezers are four times colder than a normal freezer, used to store plant and animal samples, as well as microorganisms for long-term storage.

“They are rare. They are expensive,” Dr. Jim Youngblom with Stanislaus State said. “Most freezers are at minus 20 degrees Celsius. And these are minus 80 degrees Celsius. And I think they’ve become really hard to come by with the vaccines now starting to be distributed.”

The university said it was approached by the Stanislaus County Public Health Department on Friday and the freezers were picked up Monday afternoon.

“We were just contacted recently, and they’ve already picked up the freezers,” Youngblom explained. “I think that suggests to me that the vaccines are coming.”

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