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Sonoma County Welcomes Increase In Coronavirus Vaccine Supply

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Santa Rosa, CA – April 6, 2021 – Sonoma County has received a significant increase in COVID vaccines from the state, including a shipment of Johnson & Johnson doses specifically for the County’s effort to distribute the vaccine equitably to the most vulnerable communities. The increase in supply is a direct result of an appeal that the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors made to the state.

The Board on March 27 sent a letter to state health leaders appealing for an increase in vaccines for Sonoma County “so that we can continue to support our community in an equitable and transparent way.” Yolanda Richardson, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency for the State of California, responded directly to the request by, among other things, promising that Sonoma County will receive an extra supply of 1,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccines to help the County achieve its equity objectives.

“We appreciate the increase in vaccine doses, and we want to thank Secretary Richardson for listening to our appeal and acknowledging our equity effort,” said Lynda Hopkins, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “We have been concerned that our allocations from the state had remained flat for weeks. This limited supply was unacceptable to us, especially since we have built a network of vaccination clinics that can administer six times that amount. Now, thanks to this surge in doses, we will continue to prioritize our equity efforts as we distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable and under-served communities.

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As eligibility expands, vaccine shortages in California persist

in People

Millions more Californians made the eligibility list for vaccinations Monday but continued shortages will make access difficult if not impossible.

Not only are many seniors still waiting, but the state also set aside 40% of its supply for underserved areas and 10% for teachers.

So supplies in most counties are flat, at best.

“We have a plan in place to get all groups vaccinated if we had the vaccine,” said  Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase.

It’s a big “if” for every Bay Area county.

Stanford Health Care on Monday evening announced it is suspending new vaccination appointments due to “supply disruptions.”

An email to patients referred to the wider eligibility criteria and said suppliers for Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties are “receiving a fraction of their expected shipments.”

1,500 Additional Vaccines Secured For Santa Rosa City Schools

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SANTA ROSA, CA — Officials at Santa Rosa City Schools have obtained an additional 1,500 doses of the COVID vaccine for school employees, which will allow the district to vaccinate staff before it reopens in-person K-6 elementary schools on April 1.

That date had been put in jeopardy, after a vaccination shortage caused the Sonoma County Office of Education to announce it would temporarily close its vaccination clinic during the first week of March.

An announcement Sunday from Santa Rosa City Schools said district officials worked with State Sen. Mike McGuire to obtain the additional vaccination doses.

Santa Rosa Superintendent Diann Kitamura thanked McGuire and the governor for their efforts.

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How does California distribute scarce vaccines?

in People
Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as LVN Cari Elkins gives a COVID-19 vaccination at a drive-thru vaccination center at Natomas High School in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. Appointments were needed for the 1,000 vaccinations to be administered for those 65 and over, first responders, health workers, teachers, food and agricultural employers. Called an equitable distribution site, it prioritized those disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, was collaboration between the Natomas' Unified School District, Sacramento County Public Health Department and Sacramento Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby who represents the area. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — At this stage of the vaccine rollout it seems unfathomable that Los Angeles would be forced to temporarily close its largest vaccination site at Dodger Stadium and four other locations because they are out of doses. But it’s happened and it raises questions about how local, state and federal governments determine where to send scarce vaccine doses.

Here’s a look at California’s vaccination system:


The federal government decides each week how many vaccines a state will get, then the state determines how to divide them among counties and major health systems. Counties and health systems almost always ask for more than they get, the result of having far more capacity than available shots.

The state divvies up the vaccine through a formula aimed at estimating how many people in an area are eligible.

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Sonoma County turns to local health centers to help achieve vaccine equity

in People
Andrea Guerrero takes the temperature of a man as he enters a COVID-19 vaccination site in Windsor, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2021

Late last June, Victor Arreola, a Healdsburg vineyard manager, contracted the coronavirus and ended up infecting his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Although he was the only one in his family to suffer severe viral symptoms, that experience has haunted him.

Arreola received a first vaccine dose Wednesday at a public vaccination clinic held inside the Huerta Gymnasium in Windsor. The 56-year-old agriculture worker was one of about 190 people inoculated.

“I didn’t have to think twice about it,” he said, of the opportunity for the shot against COVID-19 after his “very bad experience” battling the infectious disease.

The clinic was organized by Alliance Medical Center, one of several federally funded community health clinics nationwide now playing a key role inoculating low-income and minority residents. In Sonoma County, these local health centers also are leading the way toward a more equitable vaccine distribution.

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Shortage of coronavirus vaccine slows Sonoma County immunization campaign

in People
Safeway pharmacy graduate intern Nancy Kong prepares a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination during a drive-thru vaccination event for in-home supportive services personnel in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.(Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County is poised to significantly expand the number of people vaccinated every day against the novel coronavirus, even as county leaders and public health officials are growing increasingly frustrated with the slow trickle of vaccine provided by the state of California.

The county unveiled plans Thursday to open two more vaccination sites next week, adding to the five clinics it already coordinates, part of a program that could soon be administering 2,000 doses a day. That figure, which excludes vials going to the six hospitals in the region, would represent a dramatic expansion of the county’s vaccination campaign, which has averaged 985 doses a day over the last week.

Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, said the rollout of the county’s vaccination campaign is being limited by distribution from the state.

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Bay Area residents desperate for answers about CVS’ slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout at long-term care facilities

in People

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Frustration and confusion continue over the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for the high-risk residents of long-term care facilities in California, and throughout the U.S.

“They have no idea when they’re going to be vaccinated,” said Carole LaRochelle who’s concerned about her 88-year-old mother Dora, who is in assisted living in Sonoma County.

According to the CDC, long-term care facility residents and staff members account for 39% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

“It feels like it’s a race to try and get my mother vaccinated before she gets exposed to COVID and could possibly die,” said LaRochelle.

Along with health care workers, long-term care residents like Dora are in tier 1A. Tier 1B includes individuals 65 and older, like LaRochelle’s 90-year-old father who lives at home in Santa Rosa, but managed to get vaccinated before Dora.

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Vaccinations: Sonoma County Residents Wondering how it will Happen

in People
(TNS) – Jan. 10—Elizabeth Apana is 72 years old. She moved to Santa Rosa in 2019 because her cardiologist told her she needed surgery to stabilize the rhythm of her heart, and it would be too risky to have the procedure done in Hawaii, where she lived at the time. She also has congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. She is eager to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, for obvious reasons.
“Mentally, it’s going to make me feel a whole lot better, because I know I won’t have to worry about catching COVID, and I won’t have to worry about giving it to other people,” Apana said. “I feel it will be a new chance at life.”
Apana wanted to know when she’ll be eligible to receive her first dose of vaccine, and how she might be alerted to that bit of good news. So she started calling around. She phoned Sonoma County’s COVID hotline, was directed to Emergency Services and spoke to a health administrator there. She called county Supervisor Susan Gorin and left a message. She called her doctor. “All the places that it’s been listed,” Apana said.
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Northern California hospital vaccinates more than 800 in just hours after freezer holding COVID-19 vaccine breaks

in People

UKIAH, Calif. (KGO) — A hospital north of Santa Rosa had just hours to vaccinate hundreds of people on Monday after the freezer storing its Moderna vaccine had broken down.

Staff at Ukiah Valley Medical Center jumped into action, vaccinating some 830 people in just two hours.

I-TEAM: CA doctor says vaccine distribution not going as planned, doses delayed for vulnerable communities

Math teacher Leslie Banta happened to be one of them.

“I am elated. That is not an understatement.”

Leslie received her first vaccination, Monday, and has the card to prove it. It happened weeks, maybe even months ahead of schedule, in a victory snatched from what might have been a disaster.

“It is astounding and heroic.”

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Sonoma County gets first doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine

in People
Petaluma, CA, USA, Wednesday, December 23, 2020._The COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Petaluma Valley Hospital where caregivers were given the Moderna vaccine. Dr. Loren Fong, the Chief of the Emergency Department at PVH prepares to get a shot from Wendi Thomas, director of Nursing. (CRISSY PASCUAL/ARGUS-COURIER STAFF)

Sonoma County public health officials received 5,800 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, with 3,000 more expected next week, bolstering the growing local arsenal against a deadly virus that has claimed the lives of 180 county residents since March.

The county public health laboratory’s first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived, after it already received at least 7,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and additional doses are on the way.

Separately, Wednesday county public health officials acknowledged Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park plans to host a private New Year’s Eve party indoors with 4,000 guests. Casino owner Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is a U.S. sovereign entity not subject to county or state public health orders, local public health officials said.

Therefore, county officials can’t do anything about the planned large gathering or force its cancellation. County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase said the casino operator will take steps to reduce the risk of party attendees contracting the coronavirus.

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