Sonoma County‘s COVID-19 vaccination efforts are kicking into high gear with five clinics now activated throughout the County and at least two more planned for the coming weeks, Sonoma County supervisors announced today. Already nearly 24,000 vaccinations have been administered in the County.
The County will soon have capacity to vaccinate more than 2,000 people a day, a number that does not include vaccinations that are already underway through hospitals and health care providers such as Kaiser, Sutter and St. Joseph, federally qualified health centers and the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program with CVS and Walgreens, which is responsible for vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities.
Getting enough people in the community vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity will require a “total community commitment” from all sectors including health care, education, business as well as agriculture, labor and nonprofit groups, supervisors said. Participation will range from hosting vaccination clinics at community centers or places of employment to volunteering and sharing accurate and timely information on what vaccination opportunities exist for family members, coworkers, friends and neighbors.
“Most of all we need a community commitment to being patient as we distribute vaccines in the most equitable way possible, making sure that those most vulnerable and most at risk are vaccinated first,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “We are partnering with our health-care providers to distribute the vaccines as quickly as possible, but we are limited by how many vaccines we receive here in Sonoma County. We are going to continue to move quickly and safely through the different phases of the plan, but we are all going to need to be patient until it is our turn.”
Officials also announced on Thursday that Sonoma County has completed Phase 1a Tier 1 of the vaccination distribution plan having successfully vaccinated frontline health-care workers, paramedics and others in this tier. The separate federal program to vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities is still ongoing, but Sonoma County Department of Health Services have committed to assist that effort to ensure all residents and employees of skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities are vaccinated as quickly as possible.
Vaccinations are now under way for those in Phase 1a, Tier 2 and Tier 3, which include specialty clinic staff, laboratory workers and dental clinic staff. Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s Health Officer, said that the County expects to be ready to start vaccinating those in Phase 1b Tier 1 by early February. That phase includes individuals 65 and older, teachers and child care providers, emergency service workers and food and agriculture workers.
“With Phase 1b, we will eventually distribute the vaccine to a much larger population of essential workers and vulnerable adults. But we are going to need a greater allotment of vaccines,” Mase said. “It will take a historic effort to scale up the vaccination rollout, and we are working with many partner organizations and volunteer vaccinators on this monumental task.”
Vaccination clinics that are in operation or soon to open include:
- AMR and fire agency clinic for first responders and law enforcement at Public Health Lab, with capacity for 200 per day.
- Sonoma County Medical Association clinic for health-care providers at Grace Pavilion, with capacity for 300 per day. (Additional lanes will also be available at Grace which has a capacity for up to 1,200 per day.)
- Safeway clinic for in-home supportive services workers at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, with capacity for 300 per day.
- Clinical Health Appraisals clinic for Public Health field workers at County Administration building, with capacity for 200 per day.
- DEMA Consulting clinic for community health promoters at Roseland Library, with capacity for 200 per day.
- The Fitness Center at Santa Rosa Junior College-Petaluma Campus, which will have capacity for more than 300 vaccinations per day.
- Huerta Gym in the Town of Windsor which will have capacity for 300 or more vaccinations per day.
In addition, the County is looking at setting up vaccinations centers in Sonoma Valley and in West County and hopes to have these identified by next week.
These do not include all the vaccinations that are also underway through hospitals, health care providers, federally qualified health centers and CVS and Walgreens.
Officials also plan to expand existing sites or open new vaccination centers in early February to begin serving Phase 1b populations, including:
- Teachers, in partnership with Sonoma County Office of Education
- Food and agriculture workers
- Residents 65 and older
Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcement that those 65 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine has caused some confusion about prioritization. Supervisors made clear today that beginning in early February, residents 65 and older in Sonoma County will have several options to obtain the vaccine. The vaccine will be dependent on available supply. Options include:
- Primary care provider: A patient’s personal physician or health care provider will be the primary source of obtaining the vaccine.
- Federally qualified health centers: Patients without a primary care provider will have an opportunity to obtain the vaccine at one of these health centers.
- Safeway pharmacy: Sonoma County has partnered with Safeway to provide the vaccines at 11 pharmacies countywide.
- Vaccination centers: Residents will be able to obtain the vaccine from one of the vaccination centers noted above.
New data: Officials encouraged county residents and workers to go to SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine for up-to-date information on the progress of the rollout. The dashboard at SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine tracks the number of Sonoma County residents who have been vaccinated. As of Thursday, the latest update is:
- Vaccine doses administered in Sonoma County: 23,787
- Residents who have received a first dose: 13,721
- Residents fully vaccinated with two doses: 5,033
Direction for volunteers: Finally, licensed health care workers interested in volunteering as vaccinators in the new vaccination clinics can sign up at SoCoEmergency.org/VaccineVolunteers.