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Vaccine shortage forces Sonoma County to cancel appointments



Faced with a continuing lack of coronavirus vaccines, Sonoma County will cancel the vaccination of people who have signed up for the first shot next week, and close clinics that plan to vaccinate teachers and other people who deal with children. .

Instead, the county will retain its insufficient supply of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to give priority to people who received the first shot at the beginning of this month. The immunity is increased to about 95%.

The planned clinic at Rancho Court High School in Ronald Park, organized in conjunction with the Sonoma County Office of Education, was cancelled, threatening that the delay in returning to school for most students in the county may start again.

“This is very frustrating,”

; said Dr. Urmila Shende, the county’s vaccine director. “We can’t do anything about it.”

Although the county has the infrastructure to provide more than 40,000 doses of vaccine per week, it is expected to receive only enough vaccine to administer 7,680 doses of vaccine next week, which is about the same as the vaccine received this week but higher than the 8,025 doses received last week Say less.

If federal regulators approve a new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the vaccine supply may begin to surge next week, and this vaccine can take effect with just one injection. The Biden administration has told California that it expects to receive 380,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines next week.

The distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still depends on the actions of the Federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although Newsom said he is confident of rapid approval and listing.

Due to insufficient supply, the state currently has to inject about 1.4 million doses of vaccine per week. The state announced that it will have 3 million doses per week from Monday.

The State Department of Health Services announced that starting from Monday, the county (county) system used to determine vaccine eligibility will be replaced by a single statewide standard. All health care providers and local health jurisdictions will adopt uniform, state-guided eligibility standards, thereby eliminating the confusion of who is eligible for vaccinations.

Eligibility confusion plagued Sonoma County’s vaccination campaign, resulting in the cancellation of thousands of appointments for people who met state standards but did not meet county guidelines in late January.

But today’s biggest problem is the supply of vaccines, which simply cannot meet the public’s demand for immunization, or even the county’s injection capacity.

Last week, winter storms in most parts of the country disrupted the national vaccine supply chain. Sonoma County health officials confirmed that this is no longer a problem. However, the county’s recent allocation of funds from the state has stagnated at best. Ken Tasseff, county vaccine site coordinator, said the same goes for other counties.

When asked why the grants were falling back, Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said: “I think we really need to ask California this question.”

Representatives from the California Department of Public Health did not respond to requests for comment on Friday afternoon.

Hopkins was frustrated with the county’s dwindling dose supply. Hopkins loudly doubted whether the county was weakened by Blue Shield, which has been hired by the state as a third-party regulatory agency (TPA) to oversee it. Its new centralized vaccination and delivery system. Blue Shield is expanding the system in three waves, initially concentrated in 10 counties in central and southern California. Sonoma and Lake counties belong to the second batch of 28 counties and will begin the transition to the new network on Monday, while Marin County, Napa and Mendocino counties belong to the third batch which will be on March 7. Counties that began to be merged into the system.

Hopkins said: “For a while, we were on a promising track.” “Then, the TPA process started at the state level, and the first wave was fully rolled out. It was obvious that these first wave of TPA counties were After receiving widespread attention, all of a sudden, our supply was either flat or declining.”

With the expansion of the “Blue Shield” program, MyTurn.ca.gov will become the main source of signings for Californians. Sonoma County residents can currently register to be notified when they are eligible or when the appointment begins.

Tasef said that for the time being, the supply of vaccines is so large that the county can fulfill its current second-dose appointment only because Kaiser Permanente is “helping us.” Provide 250 doses of vaccine.


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