While the Pfizer, and soon to come Moderna, COVID-19 vaccines are the solution to the world-wide pandemic, actually rolling out the vaccines, even in a small county, comes with its own set of issues.
As the number of positive cases in Inyo keep rising, those issues were at the forefront of Health and Human Services Director Marilyn Mann’s report to the Inyo Board of Supervisor’s meeting this week.
The initial vaccinations started December 19; the second Pfizer doses are due this week and, Mann said, the plan is to start that second series this weekend. The County has contracted with CVS Pharmacy to administer the Moderna vaccine to the Southern Inyo Senior Nursing Facility and residents at Sterling Heights.
“When there is a stable, clear supply chain, on both the state and federal level,” Mann said, “then we can start planning” for the rest of Inyo residents.
The California Department of Public Health has laid out recommendations to actually get the vaccines administered and Inyo County is following those recommendations.
Those priorities start with residents 75 and older, non-medical first responders and grocery clerks. Public Health Department Director Dr. James Richardson estimated that tier of vaccine recipients totaled about 4,000. “It will take awhile,” he said.
The California recommendations beyond that first tier starts with workers and non-medical first responders with no control over their work environment and residents 65-years and older, followed by those 55 to 64 years old and then younger than 55.
Richardson noted there have been only a few minor reactions to the vaccines, issues that resolved quickly. But, just in case, Inyo has arranged for an ambulance be available at the vaccine clinics.