Kern County mass vaccination site lacking just one thing: vaccines

Fairgrounds site will operate when more vaccines are available.
Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site
Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site
Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site
Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site
Posted at 4:13 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 20:12:11-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern County Public Health Department said their COVID-19 mass vaccination site drive-thru is ready for use, but there is one issue when it comes to those vaccines. 23ABC's Bayan Wang took a tour of the drive-thru at the Kern County Fairgrounds in South Bakersfield and found out when vaccines will be administered there.

Kern County Public Health said they are ready to open up their drive-thru as soon as they get more vaccinations from the state.

Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site

"Here our infrastructure is set to go to 5,000 doses per day," explained Kern County Public Health spokeswoman Michelle Corson.

Those 5 thousand doses per day would be nearly 9 times the number of vaccines administered daily so far at Kern County's mass vaccination site located on the fairgrounds. But according to Corson, there is one hold up from making that happen: the vaccine supply.

Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site

"We just need more vaccine. So, we are advocating to the state to get us more vaccine."

Once more vaccines are available the county is looking to roll out its 14-lane mass vaccination drive-thru with hopes to boost the number of vaccine shots.

Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Site

"The drive-thru specifically will be anywhere between 3 and 4000 a day. So, we get to that 5,000 a day number by operating both the walk up and the drive-thru," added Tom Beckett, technology services manager for Kern County Public Health.

As of Thursday, 64,000 doses have been administered of the nearly 80,000 doses the county has received so far according to the state. But Assistant Public Health Director Brynn Carrigan says that number is actually higher.

"We know this number is understated because almost 2,000 doses that Kern County Public Health has administered is missing from the state's data."

The state announced Thursday that counties can vaccinate those in Tier 1 of Phase 1b, which would include teachers, frontline emergency workers, and many other groups, But Carrigan said Kern County cannot move into that phase yet because of limited supply.

"While some other counties may have moved on to include other priority populations in their eligibility groups Kern County has only received enough vaccine to cover a small portion of the existing priority populations. We are anxious to vaccinate our educators, our agriculture workers, and everyone else in our communities. Unfortunately, the supply is just not there."

In the meantime, the Biden administration announced that they will be increasing vaccine supply to each state but it's not clear yet how many more vaccines will be coming to California and when.

Coronavirus spreads mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Surfaces can also get infected. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like hypertension, obesity, heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:

  • Stay home except for essential needs/activities.
  • Practice physical distancing – stay 6 feet away from people.
  • Wear a cloth face mask if you leave home.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow or a tissue. Wash hands afterward.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home and away from people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
  • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting.
  • Follow guidance from public health officials.

Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

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