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Public health says Kern County is in need of vaccinations, discusses a rollout plan

Both COVID-19 vaccines have a time limit
Posted at 4:17 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 20:15:07-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Public Health held a media briefing on Friday for the first time since December to discuss the vaccination rollout plan and how they are in need of more vaccines.

Both of the COVID-19 vaccines have a time limit after they are defrosted before they become expired, and once that happens, the vaccines are unusable, and we asked the county if that could potentially be an issue.

“We are capable of administering at least 5,000 doses every single day to our residents, to those groups, if we had the doses,” said Ryan Alsop, chief administrative officer, Kern County Public Health.

Vaccine supply continues to be a concern here in Kern County, during public health’s briefing on Friday, Ryan Alsop, chief administrative officer for the county, stressed the importance of getting the community vaccinated, sooner rather than later.

“Over 100,000 residents have contracted the virus over the last 12 months, and to date, we have lost over 700 people in our community.”

We asked Alsop if any vaccines are going to waste, but he says public health does not track that number locally.

“I think we have a pretty good track record here, where we're not, at least speaking for the fairgrounds, we aren’t wasting vaccines out there.”

23ABC reached out to the CDC, who does track wasted doses, to find out if any have been wasted in Kern County, but have not heard back at this time.

According to the CDC, both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines can be frozen and stored for up to six months, but once the vaccines thaw, Pfizer's vaccine can last for five days while Moderna lasts up to 30 days.

Right now, Kern County’s main focus is getting residents vaccinated with the supply that we do have.

“Here in Kern County with the limited amount of vaccines that we’ve got, we are using all of those vaccines and getting them into the arms of people who are eligible to receive them,” said Alsop.

Starting next week the county will be utilizing a new system run by the state called myturn, for the community to make appointments to get vaccinated.