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Vaccine allocation changes could favor county

Amid constant changes in restrictions and a lack of clarity in the data behind them, county officials have been lobbying the state to keep Nevada County in mind.

On Monday Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the end to stay-at-home orders statewide and upcoming changes to vaccine distribution based on age.

Though exact details about how the state has allocated vaccines to counties is not known, the formula takes into account the number of health care workers — who make up the bulk of Phase 1A — a county has to vaccinate.



“We are sending letters and, through our legislators, trying to get an understanding of how the distribution method is decided,” Board of Supervisors Chair Dan Miller said.

“Because it seems as if we’re just forgotten population sometimes.”




At around 6,000 residents in that category, Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver said the county’s vaccine allocation benefited from a higher rate than neighboring counties.

As the state moves into prioritizing people 65 years and older in Phase 1B, the county could benefit from having a disproportionately high senior population at 28%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re looking forward to getting more details about that and hearing what the state has to say,” Gruver said of Newsom’s planned press conference today.

“Right now there’s a lot of confusion where different health jurisdictions have 60 different interpretations of what the state and the governor has said. We’re looking forward to some clarity.”

According to Gruver, as of Monday the county has received over 7,500 vaccine doses.

Miller said while some weeks the doses delivered to the county are sufficient, there is confusion about how much they can expect each week.

“It’s difficult because the state is controlling all the distribution right now,” Miller said.

“If we can have a significant number of doses… we’re pretty much on track. We just don’t know from week to week how much we’re going to get, and that’s real frustrating.”

Gruver said while the way the state distributes the vaccine is important, it’s also crucial to keep in mind the nationwide shortage of vaccine supply.

“We’re getting it out as fast as we get in the door,” he said.“ We’re moving on through Phase 1, but it still needs production at the federal level. It’s going to take time for that.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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