Tulare, Kings counties push forward with COVID-19 vaccine distribution

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the coming days, a mix of staff and volunteers will be vaccinating Phase 1A residents for COVID-19 at one of Tulare County's largest venues - the International Agri-Center.

Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman says EMTs from his department and others have volunteered to administer shots at the site.

"It's just to get the people vaccinated that need this, the most affected populations," Norman said. "It's our duty to get things done in the fire service."

College of the Sequoias and Porterville College will be also be hosting vaccination clinics.

Porterville had its first one earlier this week, and the college's president says they are recruiting students and staff to volunteer at future events.

"It is an honor and frankly we consider it also part of our collective responsibility as we step up and be involved in this very important vaccination effort," Porterville College President Dr. Claudia Habib said.

"Looking to our community colleges, they had the capabilities with space and they had the capabilities to accommodate our needs at this time," said Tulare County Public Health's Carrie Monteiro. "Now that may grow to other facilities beyond these initial ones that we have lined up, and we anticipate that's going to happen."

Monteiro wants to remind the public that only residents in Phase 1A with an appointment can get a shot right now.

Check to see if you're in Phase 1A on the county's vaccination webpage.

If you're eligible, dial 211 to schedule an appointment.

If you're not, Monteiro asks that you don't call, as the call center has been overwhelmed since going live two days ago.

In the meantime, you can fill out a COVID-19 vaccination interest form here.

"So we ask the public to remain patient," Monteiro said. "More vaccine is on the way, however we don't have enough supply to go beyond phase 1(A) at this time. We hope to get that supply soon."

Tulare County officials say they aren't ready to expand vaccinations to all 65 and older residents yet.

But they expect that will happen very soon.

Kings County just announced a list of COVID-19 vaccination sites for 65 and older residents.

They will start taking appointments on Friday.

See below for more information from Kings County Public Health.

Starting Friday, January 15, 2021, scheduling will begin for individuals age 65 or older through Aria Community Health Center (ACHC) clinics located throughout the county. The Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) is partnering with ACHC to provide COVID19 vaccines to County residents that "face the gravest consequences," according to Governor Gavin Newsom's direction. "We are thrilled to help vaccinate our community against this deadly disease. While Covid-19 vaccines were developed within one year, they are built on 150 years of research and experience by thousands of scientists and billions of vaccines given since Louis Pasteur and others discovered 'vaccination,' " said John Blaine, Chief Executive Officer of ACHC. Appointments are required for both Aria and the KCDPH, and are available while current vaccine supplies last. The KCDPH will continue to keep the public informed as vaccine supplies are replenished and appointments become available.

Kings County residents age 65 or older that are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should contact their nearest clinic:

Aria Health - Avenal: 148 King Street, (559) 386-9000

Kings County Public Health - Corcoran: 1002 Dairy Avenue, (559) 852-2002

Aria Health - Hanford: 329 W. 8th Street, (559) 582-2500

Aria Health - Kettleman City: 304 Becky Pease, (559) 386-4501

Aria Health - Lemoore: 209 C Street, (559) 924-7005

Aria Health - Stratford: 20326 Main St., (559) 947-3500
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