The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine has been provided mainly to medical staff, but a large number of community members may start contacting next week: people over 65.
Santa Barbara County (Santa Barbara County) follows California’s phased vaccine distribution system and is about to complete priority tasks for medical workers, emergency medical service workers, and long-term care facilities (such as skilled nursing homes) staff and residents .
“We expect to go all out this week to complete the first phase a,” Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso told the Supervisory Board this week.
The next eligible group is residents over 75 years old, but New York State decided this week to expand it to everyone over 65 years old.
Do-Reynoso told Noozhawk on Wednesday that this is a larger group, much earlier than the Ministry of Public Health expected.
Do-Reynoso said: “Unless you have registered them and appointed them, they will be older than the necessary workers (to allocate vaccines).”
“That’s the people who showed up in our hospital. Unfortunately, these people are suffering very serious fatal consequences.”
So far, qualified people have been found through top-down methods through their employers or the gathering place where they live.
For future groups, the county will need to work with healthcare providers and community groups to notify them that they are eligible and tell them how to make vaccination appointments for both doses.
A worker at Lompoc Valley Medical Center holds a bottle of Pfizer’s BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo of Lompoc Valley Medical Center)
The county plans to provide online dating registration, direct contact with qualified people through healthcare providers, and use call centers.
She said: “2-1-1 call centers will be able to register for appointments, including those who cannot access the online platform or who cannot access it verbally.”
She said that when it is open to all adults (expected to be sometime this spring), the county plans to build a large-scale vaccination clinic and launch promotional activities to disseminate information.
There may be driving through stations, walking stations and appointment-only stations throughout the county, as well as mobile vaccination clinics to provide services for people who cannot reach the main locations.
The public health department is already asking local medical system partners to staff these mass vaccination community sites.
“To vaccinate our county on a large scale, it cannot be just us; it must be everyone.” Do-Reynoso said.
Do-Reynoso emphasized that the vaccine distribution process is dynamic and that the state and federal governments make policy decisions every day.
The county has a vaccine information website at https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/.
Vaccine distribution level and estimated timetable
The county requests and receives a vaccine order every week and reserves some vaccines to vaccinate people through its clinics. It distributes most of the dose to a network of vaccine providers: hospitals, community clinics, medical offices, and retail pharmacies.
Due to the limited supply, states and counties use a priority system of stages and levels.
(Photo from Santa Barbara County Public Health Department)
It is based on the idea that people who may be exposed to the virus at work (including basic workers in the medical field) and people who may be seriously ill (older, severe medical conditions).
The idea is to complete one level at a time and then upgrade to the next level.
However, this system creates a bottleneck because hospitals and clinics are used in excess doses and no authorized person can give them.
California opened it up this week and created more qualified people, which the county hopes to get vaccinated faster.
Do-Reynoso said: “I think we were hindered for a while due to the strict layering system.”
California officials decided on Wednesday that instead of vaccinating people aged 75 and over in the next group, people over the age of 65 should be vaccinated-the number of eligible people is much larger.
The use of instructions for each dose can also lead to situations where some providers are ahead of others.
The Lompoc Valley Medical Center announced Wednesday that it will vaccinate some of its patients over the age of 75. Do-Reynoso said the center has vaccinated all patient-facing staff and suppliers, and other doses of vaccine are needed.
Do-Reynoso admitted that the Ministry of Public Health had not received notification from LVMC that it was about to announce this move, and said it would be happy to coordinate better.
She said that the county has received many phone calls from elderly people who say it is the most unfair to non-Lompoc residents.
She said: “So what we are saying is that what Lompoc is doing now can be interpreted as making full use of the vaccine that has been distributed.” “We don’t want it to become useless or wasteful in the refrigerator.
“For those who are unfortunately not 75 years old in the health care network, the Ministry of Public Health may expand to 75 years old as soon as possible next week.”
Patient-oriented medical staff are currently eligible to use the vaccine and can register for appointments through the county website here.
The county stated: “Currently, individuals who provide direct patient care or work in patient care areas are eligible,” not people who work from home.
(Photo by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department)
Cottage Health will open a hands-free vaccination clinic at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital on Friday and Saturday for qualified medical staff who live or work in Santa Barbara County. The website provides more information and pre-registration forms.
According to the current schedule, people over 65 are expected to be eligible to participate from next week.
In February and March, this scope will be expanded to people who may be at risk at work in the following areas:
»Food/Grocery and Agriculture
»Transportation and Logistics
»Industrial, commercial, residential and sheltered facilities and services
»Set up collective shelters and detention centers
After that, people over 60 years of age and people with underlying health conditions or disabilities will increase the risk of severe COVID-19 if they are infected.
In addition, people who work in the following sectors are at risk of exposure:
»Water and Wastewater
»Chemical and hazardous substances
»Communications and IT
»Government operation/Community-based basic functions
As Do-Reynoso said, the county is expected to open a mass vaccination clinic sometime this spring.
Click here to read more stories in the Coronavirus section of Noozhawk.