Fresno County preparing to receive larger supply of COVID-19 vaccine

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County was preparing for an increase in vaccine supplies. Educators will be among those who benefit.

Many kids and parents were also looking forward to the return of athletics

Starting February 26th, outdoor contact sports, including football and soccer could resume in counties where the COVID rate is at 14 per 100,000.

RELATED: Which youth sports can soon resume playing in Central California?

Fresno County was not there yet - at 22.8.

But health officials were encouraged because of a new push to get the vaccine out to more people.

The opening of Gaston Middle School as a COVID vaccination site has been well-received in southwest Fresno.

RELATED: New COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at southwest Fresno middle school

The team was focused on protecting the elderly. One person who came in was 98 years old.

African-American Coalition Director Shantay Davies-Balch said, "We've really taken on a lens of being equitable in our community and making sure we're prioritizing our most vulnerable population."

A new allocation formula, which included vaccines for those 65 and older, food and ag workers and those in education and emergency services means Fresno County is about to receive a much larger vaccine supply.

Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado said, "We're going to be looking at a 20,000 a week allocation this coming week from here on out kind of knowing that we're in the next allocation formula matrix today."

Ten percent of the vaccine allocation beginning in March will go to educators.

The county wanted to make sure the shots are rolled out equally to the various districts.

Fresno County Deputy Superintendent Hank Gutierrez said, "We looked at where are our teachers that are in the front, teaching in the classroom right now, where are those school personnel that are interacting with students. Those would be considered the higher risk."

Once Fresno County can get to 14 cases per 100,000 people, more youth sports and athletic competitions could return to campus.

Fresno County Assistant Health Director David Luchini said, "Schools are starting up open up a little bit. We're going to have some sports and then the jump is all of a sudden, oh everything is back to normal. And we just can't jump to normal. We still have to make sure we're doing the precautions every day."

Next week, 9,000 shots were expected to be given to people 65 and over and healthcare workers at the Fresno fairgrounds.
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