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vaccine

More people taking COVID tests in Stanislaus County. With FDA approval, are shots next?

in News

Now that the FDA granted full approval of the coronavirus Pfizer vaccine, will it instill confidence for more unvaccinated people in Stanislaus County to get the shots?

County health officials did not release any special plans Monday for offering the fully approved vaccine to those who have sat on the fence, waiting for more evidence the vaccines are safe and effective.

Monday, the public health locations that were visibly attracting residents were testing sites, as the delta variant of COVID-19 continued to make people sick.

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COVID-19 vaccines in California: Everything you need to know

in Around California

Developments are fast-moving as California and other states work to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination effort. The state has said it aims to vaccinate most Californians by the summer of 2021 and eligibility is soon opening up to everyone.

People ages 50 and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccines on April 1 and everyone ages 16 or older in the state will be eligible on April 15. Some counties and health providers are moving on a faster timetable.

Placer, Stanislaus and Butte counties have opened vaccines to those 16 and over, while Amador, Sutter and Yuba counties are now offering the vaccine to people 18 and over.

UC Davis Health said that anyone ages 16 and older can sign up online for a vaccine, including people who are not already patients.

Here are answers to common questions about the vaccine that we have found from our coverage — all in one place.

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How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in these NorCal counties

in Health

Millions of Californians will become eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine this week as eligibility will expand to people ages 50 and older.

Those new guidelines will begin this Thursday, and on April 15, any Californian ages 16 and older will become eligible. What remains an issue in the fight against the virus is supply, which continues to be limited across the state.

Some Northern California county officials said the state tells them about a week in advance how many doses will be delivered for the following week, which makes planning clinics and appointments challenging.

KCRA 3 reached out to counties and health care providers to see what options are available for people trying to make vaccination appointments.

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Vaccine eligibility to expand; counties still facing supply shortages

in Health

Californians age 16 and over will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an announcement by state officials Thursday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said eligibility will expand to Californians 50 years and over starting April 1. Later in the month, Californians 16 years and over will also become eligible for the vaccine, starting April 15.

The governor said he also anticipates the state supply of vaccines to increase, an issue plaguing counties since the vaccine rollout.

KCRA 3 found out whether county officials think they'll be able to meet the expanded demand.

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Stanislaus hospital cases top 100. Vaccine supply grows

in Health

Hospital cases of COVID-19 surpassed 100 for the first time in nearly two weeks Thursday in Stanislaus County.

It also reported three deaths, for a total of 963 residents lost to the pandemic since last spring.

The county Health Services Agency added just 69 positive tests, raising the total to 51,468 since the first was announced a year and a day ago. Stanislaus also has 472,450 negative test results and 49,779 people who are presumed recovered.

Other details:

Hospital cases: The county's five hospitals reported 101 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, up from 95 on Wednesday. The count had stayed under 100 since Feb. 27 and is far below the 300-plus in early January. The hospitals had 10 staffed intensive-care beds available to adults Thursday, versus nine Wednesday.

Infection rates: The single-day infection rate was 11.66%, up from 10.26% the previous day, according to the state website. The rolling seven-day rate was 6.93%, up from 6.57%. The 14-day rate was 6.57%, up from 6.47%.

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Statewide inequity remains in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

in Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly 15 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in California, but the most updated statistics show that distribution has been out of step with California’s diversity.

"It's kind of alarming because again, the conversation of equity. Here you hear the slogan 'equity in action.' I guess this is what equity looks like in-action for African Americans," said Berry Accius, community advocate and founder of Voice of Youth.

While state leaders emphasize their efforts for a fair distribution – numbers revealing white Californians have received 30.7% of the vaccinations, and the lowest distribution is seen among the most vulnerable, with Black people only receiving 3%.

Dr. Olivia Kasirye with the Sacramento County Public Health and Human Services said, "This disparity came about because of the way the state set up the prioritization where we started with certain occupational sectors; health care, teachers and law enforcement."

In Sacramento County, state officials identified 12 of the most underserved ZIP codes that they are focusing on. To facilitate the process starting Monday, people still lacking access to computers, the internet or those with language barriers will be able to sign up by calling 211.

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Vaccine Equity Metric Could Mean More Doses Locally

in Health

The Newsom Administration on Thursday announced that California has set aside 40 percent of vaccine doses for the hardest-hit communities and established a vaccine equity metric – which seeks to increase vaccinations in those communities – as a prelude to adjusting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which governs the conditions under which California’s economy can safely operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California’s approach, according to information from the Governor’s Office, will continue to focus on masking and effective use of testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation. The state is also updating its recommendations about the most effective use of masks and when to consider double masking.

“With more vaccines online and administered, California is now in a position to take steps toward ending this pandemic by keeping our guard up and by vaccinating those Californians most at risk and most exposed,” said Governor Newsom in a news release posted by his office. “Vaccinating our most impacted communities, across our state, is the right thing to do and the fastest way to end this pandemic.”

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California’s rocky COVID-19 vaccine rollout dogged by poor communication, forecasting

in Around California

California is failing to provide crucial information about COVID-19 vaccine supply levels to local officials, complicating efforts to schedule appointments and contributing to temporary closures of vaccination sites.

Officials running local vaccination programs in multiple counties say they are not being told how many doses they will receive over the next three weeks, which is key data they need to keep vaccine sites open and running smoothly.

President Biden promised last month that his administration would provide a “reliable three-week supply look-ahead” in an effort to improve the transparency and efficiency of the country’s rocky vaccine rollout.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he learns every Tuesday morning how many doses the Golden State will receive over the next three weeks. But state officials have yet to share those numbers with many local, city and county leaders, making it difficult to create appointments and plan for the administration of second doses.

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California’s new vaccine delivery system launches in parts of state, including in SoCal

in Health
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, motorists wait to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a federally-run vaccination site set up on the campus of California State University of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. California's new system of delivering, tracking and scheduling coronavirus vaccines goes live Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, for 7 million people in a handful of counties as Gov. Gavin Newsom attempts to smooth out what has been a confusing and disjointed rollout hampered by limited national supply. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

California’s new system of delivering, tracking and scheduling coronavirus vaccines is being rolled out in select counties, a first step in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to smooth out what has been a confusing and disjointed rollout hampered by limited national supply.

Newsom announced last month that his administration had tapped insurer Blue Shield to design and manage a centralized system to get doses out quickly and equitably. He said the state also needs robust data to ensure vaccines are distributed equitably and reach low-income communities, largely Latino and Black, disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

An initial list provided by the state showed 10 counties in the inland sections of central and Southern California chosen to be the first to make the transition to the Blue Shield system this week.

Counties in the initial group include Riverside, Kings, Imperial, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Fresno and Kern counties. Starting March 3, another group that includes Los Angeles, which has 10 million of California’s nearly 40 million residents, will be added.

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‘That’s not right’ | Stanislaus, San Joaquin say they’re getting short end of vaccine allocation

in Health

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif — Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties say they’re ready to vaccinate thousands of people every day, but like many others in California, they just need the vaccine. However, unlike some of the other counties, some believe they are on the short end of the vaccine allocation.

“I can tell you that it’s not a claim. It’s real,” said Vito Chiesa, Stanislaus County Supervisor. “When you look at the statistics on vaccinations per 100,000, you have areas of the state that have been more successful. They receive more vaccines than we have.”

In an earlier Board of Supervisors meeting, Chiesa vented some frustration over the vaccinations per 100,000 in the county as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The LA Times vaccination tracker had places like Stanislaus and San Joaquin County on the lower half of their ranks. Chiesa said the ranking is not a lack of effort on the county’s part because they’re putting vaccines in arms as fast as they can.

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