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New challenges arise for educator vaccines

in Schools

In a letter dated March 5, the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) outlined the continuing and new challenges they are facing in their effort to vaccinate the county’s school employee workforce.

“As with so many things in the age of COVID-19, the vaccination rollout is complicated and subject to changes and setbacks. These delays are disappointing for all of us as we know that getting school employees vaccinated is a top priority in order to safely reopen our schools,” the letter begins.

According to the letter, the state of California’s recently announced transition to the management of vaccines from county health departments to Blue Shield with a system called MyTurn has created a “dramatic and sudden change in how vaccines are allocated. Because of this, as well as winter storms in the Midwest, the county of Sonoma has received dramatically reduced allocations and is prioritizing second doses over first doses. Therefore, SCOE has not received its requested vaccine supply for the last three weeks.”

SCOE had to shutter its vaccine operations last week, but had planned on reopening them this week. Unfortunately, virus allocation for the coming week have fallen far short of expectations.

Continue Reading on Sonoma West Times and News

Sonoma County’s vaccination expansion collides with severe vaccine shortage

in People
Restaurant cook Vincente Pineda receives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Santa Rosa Community Health vaccination clinic, at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, in Santa Rosa on Monday, February 22, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

The expanding promise of coronavirus vaccinations in Sonoma County collided Monday with the realities of vaccine scarcity and extreme weather elsewhere upending expected deliveries of doses.

The supply problems were so severe that one of county’s largest health care providers, Sutter Health, decided to pause scheduling all appointments for first doses, and planned to reschedule second-dose appointments for some patients.

Friday’s announcement that the county would immediately open immunizations to residents age 65 and older, as well as food production, restaurant and grocery store employees — the largest single expansion of vaccine eligibility here, with an estimated 63,000 more people eligible — seemed like a watershed moment.
Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Other Sonoma County vaccination sites trying to avoid OptumServe ‘debacle’

in People
Betsy Todd, left, receives a card for her second coronavirus vaccine appointment after getting her first shot from Safeway pharmacy graduate intern Nancy Kong at a coronavirus vaccination site at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Acknowledging the “debacle” that forced the cancellation of thousands of coronavirus immunizations last week, Sonoma County officials vowed Wednesday to take greater control over distribution of the vaccine while noting there is little chance of fixing a flaw in the online portal that allows people to sign up for shots before their turn.

The screening process on the OptumServe website — which relies on a “stupid, inadequate question,” Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said — still fails to stop people younger than 75 from booking appointments more than a week after the county asked the company to improve the site.

The problem at the OptumServe clinic at the Rohnert Park Community Center is now in danger of being repeated at other vaccination sites in the county. A similar glitch is already causing a scramble at clinics managed by West County Health Centers and Sonoma Valley Health Partners, both of which have been working to cancel appointments for those younger than 75.

Continue Reading on Press Democrat

Sonoma County Reaffirms Commitment To Vaccinate Seniors 75 And Older

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – February 2, 2021 – Sonoma County officials reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing the county’s most vulnerable population – those 75 and older – in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations by announcing several new opportunities for seniors in this age group to schedule appointments. Health officials also pledged that more clinics would be coming online in the near future.

“The 36,000 seniors in this age bracket represent our most vulnerable residents,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “They have accounted for two-thirds of all of the COVID deaths in the County. Due to our limited supply of vaccine, we are in triage mode, and we must prioritize this most at-risk group first. We don’t have time to wait.”

Sonoma County residents 75 and older are encouraged to schedule a vaccination appointment through their primary health-care provider as their first option. As an alternative, the County has supported the creation of multiple vaccination clinics to target this population.

Continue Reading on Patch

Sonoma County To Be 1 Of 4 Counties In California To Take Part In Pilot Vaccination Program With OptumServe

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – January 25, 2021 – Sonoma County has been selected to be one of four counties in the state to take part in a pilot vaccination program through OptumServe, the company known for operating COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state.

Under the pilot program, OptumServe will begin administering vaccinations at a clinic to be set up at the Rohnert Park Community Center starting on Wednesday, January 27. The clinic will be targeted for Sonoma County residents ages 75 and above. Appointments are required and, at the outset, are being set up by invitation only through local senior citizen community groups. The clinic will handle up to 420 vaccinations a day.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Sonoma County as OptumServe already has extensive experience in operating large-capacity sites like this,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “This is one more opportunity we will have to make sure that we get vaccines to those residents most at risk of contracting this virus.”

Continue Reading on Patch

COVID Vaccine: Sonoma County Partners With Leap Solutions To Lead Stakeholder Outreach Campaign

in People

Santa Rosa, CA – January 12, 2021 – The Sonoma County Department of Health Services is partnering with Santa Rosa-based Leap Solutions Group to launch a COVID-19 Vaccination Stakeholder Outreach campaign beginning this week to promote awareness and engagement about vaccination distribution within Sonoma County.

Leap Solutions Group will partner with the County in convening a series of virtual meetings and other engagement opportunities with local stakeholder groups. Leaders from county-wide sectors, companies, organizations, associations, and representative groups will be convened to inform and provide community engagement surrounding the implementation of the county-wide vaccination program. Specifically, Team Leap will:

  • Support stakeholder engagement to ensure an equitable roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Provide information and on-going engagement opportunities
  • Engage with community leaders and stakeholders to ensure outreach extends to the whole county
  • Establish an Outreach Committee composed of stakeholders who represent the county’s diversity, regions and business and nonprofit sectors
  • The Outreach Committee will support the implementation of the county-wide outreach and engagement strategies

Continue Reading on Patch

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