Valley health departments working to keep residents informed on COVID vaccine availability

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As Valley health departments continue to vaccinate healthcare workers, a key question arises: when will the vaccine be available for the rest of us?

It's a question without a clear answer, but it's one that Tulare County Public Health wants to answer as soon as they can.

"This pandemic has been very trying and very hard, we understand that, people are ready for this vaccine," said Carrie Monteiro, public information officer for the Tulare County Public Health department.

To help combat some of the frustration of not knowing when ordinary people will be able to get their vaccine - and not knowing who will tell them it's time - the county launched a COVID-19 vaccine interest form.

The form, which can be found and filled out here, allows Tulare County residents the chance to sign up and be notified of key developments with the vaccine, like when it's ready for you and where you can go.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS TULARE COUNTY COVID-19 VACCINE INTEREST FORM

"Then we will, in turn, contact you directly to answer those questions of when it's available and how you can get to a location to get vaccinated," Monteiro said. On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom also gave counties the go-ahead to vaccinate all workers in Phase 1A of the state's vaccination plan, if they have the spare vaccines.

RELATED: Tulare County starts vaccinating more healthcare workers including dentists, optometrists for COVID-19

The form is live in Tulare County, with more than 5,000 residents already signing up, and a similar resource is currently in the works for Fresno County.

They're currently building tools for doctors to register to vaccinate and for residents to register for vaccine information, similar to what Tulare County is doing, and they hope to roll it out in the next few weeks. Dr. Rais Vohra with the county said, hopefully, you'll be able to get your COVID vaccine where you got your flu shot.

RELATED: When can you get the COVID-19 vaccine? Find out where you are in line

As both counties finish vaccinating first responders and move into primary care doctors, dentists and other healthcare workers, they'll then be trained to give the vaccine to you down the road.

So while there's not an exact answer to when the vaccine will be available for you, our local health departments are working to make it as seamless as possible when it happens.

"We're in the early stages but hope is on the horizon," Monteiro said.
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