Could Fresno's Save Mart Center become a COVID-19 mass vaccination site?

Fresno County has just reached a grim milestone, surpassing 90,000 positive COVID-19 cases.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Veterinarian Emily Cehrs says getting her second dose of the COVID 19 vaccine brings her a new level of comfort and an additional layer of protection when going to work.

She says, "Hopefully all of the case numbers will start to go down soon and hopefully we can get back to more normalcy."

While she's one of roughly 60,000 people in Fresno County to get the COVID-19 vaccine, public health officials aim to boost that number and are in what they call "serious talks" at the federal and state level to get additional doses and a mass vaccination site, similar to the ones announced this week for Oakland and Los Angeles.

Fresno County Public Health Division Manager Joe Prado says when talking logistics, health officials identified the Save Mart Center as an area of interest, citing the large parking lot.

After temporarily pausing first-dose vaccination clinics because of overwhelming demand and a lack of supply, Prado says several will resume, including those through United Health and Sierra Pacific. "We're telling our partners, 'Lets go heavy with the 75+ elderly population," he says.

This comes as Interim Health officer Dr. Rais Vohra says the county has surpassed 90,000 positive cases.

He adds, "These aren't theoretical numbers that we're throwing up, these are actual people's lives being impacted."

As more vaccines go out, they are expecting to see a positive impact on the healthcare system that was bombarded after the holidays... but there are concerns about a potential spring surge.

Dr. Vohra says, "This virus really does take advantage of people being sloppy and it's mutating and these mutant strains that are making the headlines are doing so because they're more contagious."
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