Health

San Benito County prepares to enter Phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccinations

Move to next phase contingent on the receipt of vaccine from the state.

Information provided by County of San Benito.

San Benito County is moving through the COVID-19 vaccination Phase 1A and its tiers. As this phase nears completion, the state has announced that in order to vaccinate those at greatest risk of COVID-19 complications, individuals age 65 and older will be prioritized to receive the vaccine as the demand in Phase 1A subsides.

In order to reach the age 65 and older population as more vaccine becomes available, the county is planning to conduct mass vaccination clinics that will vaccinate as many San Benito County residents in Phase 1B as quickly as possible. Although expediency is a priority, these mass vaccination clinics will require unique safety considerations including physical distancing, masks and enhanced sanitation efforts.

Simultaneously, while planning and deploying these mass vaccination clinics, San Benito County healthcare providers, including pharmacies, private doctors and clinics are registering with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to become vaccinators.

On Jan. 13 Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new state system to inform individuals if they are eligible to receive a vaccine and if not yet eligible, to register for a notification via email or text when eligible. This system will help counties, cities and others run mass vaccination events. This will include a way for eligible members of the public to schedule their vaccination appointments at those events. This new state platform is scheduled for release in the next week. In the interim, San Benito County Public Health Services has created an online vaccination interest form for Phase 1B tier 1 and 2 eligible individuals. This interest form will allow those in Phase 1B to complete an online COVID-19 vaccination interest form which will add them to a contact list. Individuals will then be informed about where they may obtain a vaccination as the phases and tiers progress. It is not a vaccination appointment; it is a tool to eventually schedule a vaccination appointment. This webform will be available  Jan. 14 and can be accessed at www.sbccovid19.us. It is not yet live and is expected to be available later in the day.

As San Benito County moves towards Phase 1B, vaccine rollout continues to be determined by vaccine and personnel availability. COVID-19 vaccines are allocated from CDPH. All counties, including San Benito, are given a limited supply of vaccine at this time due to manufacturer limitations.  It is uncertain from week to week how much vaccine will be made available to the county.

CDPH also provides direction to counties as to which phases and tiers of vaccine delivery can be engaged, and which individuals should be vaccinated. Thus far, the focus has been on individuals at elevated risk of infection, or at elevated risk of hospitalization or death if infected. San Benito County can only provide vaccinations to individuals in the phases and tiers that CDPH has directed the counties to vaccinate.

For more local COVID-19 Information please visit sbccovid19.us

State of California Questions and Answers regarding COVID-19 vaccines here: www.covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/

 

BenitoLink Staff