Tuesday, March 2
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County Health Officials Announce That Theyre Opening Vaccination to Residents Aged 75 and Older; Supply Insufficient for 65-Year-Olds at This Time, They Add – Lost Coast Outpost

Dr. Ian Hoffman and Public Health Director Michele Stephens in a Zoom conference call this afternoon.

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In
a Zoom call with reporters this afternoon, Dr. Ian Hoffman, the
county’s health officer, said that the county is ready to start
distributing COVID-19 vaccine to be given to local residents aged 75
and up.

Starting
next week, Hoffman said, local health care providers and the county’s
Public Health Division itself will be announcing specifics on how
people in that age group can sign up for appointments to receive the
vaccine.

“We
have met with all the local healthcare leaders today to alert them to
this plan,” Hoffman said. “They’re aware that we will be
opening up Phase 1B. They’ve been preparing for this for weeks.
They’re aware that in the coming days and weeks they will be
ramping up their clinics and sending out information to their
patients to let them know when and where they can get their vaccine.”

The
Public Health Division and its partners will handle vaccination for
people without current healthcare providers, Hoffman said.

Unlike
some other places in the state, this next phase of vaccination
schedule will not include people aged 65-74. Earlier
this week, the state public health department announced that this
younger cohort will now be eligible
to get their shots. But Hoffman and his colleague Michele Stephens,
the county’s public health director, said that there is not enough
vaccine available locally to open up appointments to that group
yet.

Hoffman
and Stephens underlined the fact that different California counties
are proceeding through their vaccination schedules at different rates
– not only due to the availability of vaccine, but because the
demographic and professional makeup of each county is different.

“Jurisdictions
that are moving on to teachers now – maybe they’ve been done with
Phase 1A for quite some time because they don’t have as many
[healthcare professionals],” said Stephens, in response to a
question. “We don’t really know the specifics of each county. It
stands to reason that there would be some variation across counties
and across jurisdictions for that reason.”

Humboldt County should soon be receiving vaccine on an accelerated schedule, Hoffman said. Local officials have been told that they’ll soon be getting around 3,000 doses on a weekly schedule.

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