Over 31K residents fully vaccinated
Officials discuss vaccine progress relative to other counties
As of this week, 31,700 Nevada County residents have been fully vaccinated and over 12,000 are partially vaccinated, according to the state’s Vaccinated Status by Group dashboard.
Updated each Wednesday, the dashboard also includes data on counties’ vaccine progress by gender and age group.
In Nevada County, according to the dashboard, 54% of residents who have received at least one dose are female and 45.8% are male, with 0.02% reported as unknown or undifferentiated.
The county’s gender ratio so far is similar to the one seen statewide for individuals who have received at least one dose: around 53% female and 46% male.
In Nevada County’s residents 65 or older, just over 60% have received at least one dose. In the surrounding area, Yuba and Sierra counties have seen around 63% and 57%, respectively.
By contrast, in Placer County, around 80% of residents 65 or older have received at least one dose, and around 75% have statewide.
Asked in a Q&A Wednesday about the gap between Nevada County’s vaccine progress in this age group and that of Placer County or the statewide rate, officials brought up three relevant factors: vaccine acceptance, wealth, and the presence of Multi County Entities, which include health care networks such as Dignity Health, Sutter Health, or Kaiser Permanente.
Dr. Glennah Trochet, the county’s deputy public health officer, said Placer County has generally been ahead of Nevada County in vaccination and that they have seen “much more acceptance of vaccination,” a factor she said explains some of the vaccination disparity between counties across the state.
However, she said, wealth is another factor connected positively to vaccination rates. “It’s more convenient, it’s easier, for people who aren’t working two jobs to get vaccinated, so they do,” said Trochet.
According to Ryan Gruver, the county’s director of Health and Human Services, another factor which allowed certain jurisdictions to “jump out ahead” early in their vaccine administration was the reach of their Multi County Entity networks, which he noted Placer County has a number of.
If someone was vaccine-hesitant, said Gruver, they would likely be more receptive to their primary care provider’s office calling to offer them a dose and an appointment, as opposed to the process of scheduling an appointment through a system like MyTurn.
VACCINATING YOUNGER RESIDENTS
In Nevada County’s 18 to 49 age group, just over 40% have received at least one dose. For comparison to the surrounding area, the percentage for this age group is around 41% in Placer County, 43% in Sierra County, and 22% in Yuba County.
Statewide, 52.3% of people aged 18 to 49 have received at least one dose.
In Nevada County, of those under 18 who are eligible — which currently includes only 16 and 17 year olds — just over 30% have received at least one dose, progress comparable to Placer County, where that figure is about 29%. Statewide, it is 32%.
Asked about current progress in vaccinating younger residents, Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann expressed Wednesday that it could be too early to draw conclusions, explaining that eligibility has not been open to all residents 16 and older for long enough.
Nevada County Public Health opened its vaccine appointments to all residents 16 and older on April 1, and other providers in the county followed April 15 as eligibility expanded statewide.
Kellermann added that, in particular, people 16 and 17 years old have had the most limited access as only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in that age group.
On the other hand, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been approved for use in people 18 and older.
“This is a collaborative effort and if any kid is hesitant in the clinic, we’re not immunizing them,” said Kellermann, after suggesting that parents talk to their children about vaccination. “We’ll either have them go talk outside or come back another day, so this is all willingness on everybody’s part — the parent, the child, and of course, the clinic.”
On vaccinating people under 18, Cindy Wilson, Nevada County’s director of Public Health Nursing, said in Wednesday’s Q&A that the county’s clinics are requiring parental consent and presence.
“We do want to take a little bit of extra care and time with that adolescent population,” said Wilson, elaborating that this includes talking to the minor and their parents, helping to allay any fears or misconceptions they may have about vaccination.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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