1 million vaccinations expected statewide in following 9 days
The California Department of Public Health announced adjustments Thursday to COVID-19 vaccine administration recommendations, now allowing for local health departments and providers to move further into Phase 1A of distribution.
Previously, Tier 1 of the phase — such as hospital staff and long-term care staff and residents — were to be prioritized if doses were scarce. Now, the state has authorized all tiers of Phase 1A, which represent “a wide range of people in health care settings such as community health care workers, public health field staff, primary care clinics, specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental clinics and pharmacy staff.”
The adjustment — made “to maximize vaccine administration and reduce the potential for waste” — would allow lower priority groups to receive the vaccine if high priority demand subsides or doses are about to expire.
“For example, if a county has maximized use of the vaccine to administer individuals in Phase 1A, they should move to Tier 1 of Phase 1B while continuing to offer vaccines to those in higher priority groups,” read the release.
The updated recommendation has taken effect in Nevada County, meaning vaccinations for Public Health field staff and primary care clinics are in progress, county administrative analyst Taylor Wolfe said.
Further descriptions of the priority tiers, and which are “vaccinating now,” “vaccinating next,” or further down the line, can be found on the COVID-19 vaccine page of the county’s website.
In a state budget briefing Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said this added flexibility for local health departments has been the most important development in statewide vaccine distribution in the past two days.
“I would expect, and you should expect, that we’re going to see a substantially higher number of vaccines administered in the coming days and weeks,” said Newsom.
As of Friday, according to the state Department of Public Health, 2,060,800 doses — including first and second doses — have been shipped to local health departments and multi-county health care systems statewide. According to Nevada County Public Health, 2,850 of these have been allocated to Nevada County as of this week.
Statewide, 652,128 doses have been administered as of Friday. In what would represent a drastic quickening of pace, Newsom said Friday that the state’s goal is to vaccinate 1 million more people within the following nine days.
Nevada County’s Grass Valley COVID-19 testing site, at 231 Colfax Ave., has increased its testing capacity, according to a county press release.
The site will now be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, allowing for 165 additional tests each week, or an increase of more than 15%.
Anyone may pre-register and schedule an appointment at the site by visiting http://www.lhi.care/covidtesting or calling 1-888-634-1123.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Highs will drop into the 60s early next week, as a chance of rain enters the forecast, the National Weather Service said.