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Vaccine Demand Dwindling In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County Public Health officials were hoping that anywhere from1,700 to 2,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine would be given out to locals at a distribution event yesterday at the Westside property.

However, only around 500 people came by to get a shot. It shows that the county could be nearing a saturation point for vaccine demand. As of today, an estimated 45-percent of the adult population in the county has received at least one dose. Of the highest risk group, those 65 and older, the number is much higher, 73-percent. It drops to around 50-percent for those between 50-64 and 24-percent of those 18-49.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Ryan Campbell says he hopes more people will sign up to receive the vaccine now that supply is more readily available. “We’ve had a significant reduction in our infection rates and deaths since the vaccines started rolling out, and that is not an accident. It is because of the people getting out there and getting vaccinated and taking steps to protect themselves and the community.”

He adds, “We need to keep it going. If we want this county to be open, and life to go back to something resembling what is normal, this is the way to do it.”

The county is also pushing for more people who were infected with COVID-19 earlier, and believe they are immune, to consider getting the vaccine. Health and Human Services Agency Director Rebecca Espino says there are unknowns such as if people who were very sick are more immune than those who were mildly ill.

She adds, “Your level of infection, and level of immunity, is unknown, because everybody is different.”

Over the coming weeks the county’s Public Health Department will be encouraging more people to sign up for the vaccine, while also looking at possibly downsizing the number of vaccine clinics.

The Moderna vaccine has been offered at the most recent clinics, and public health reports that more doses of Pfizer are on the way. That is notable because it is the only one currently approved for those 16 and older. Moderna only received the ok for 18 and older. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is still temporarily on hold, statewide.

The county is now fully utilizing the myTurn system for notifications about vaccine clinics.

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