Fresno County health officials hoping vaccinations rise before holidays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County has the second-highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

"We're really hoping that we get into that downward trend," says Fresno County EMS Director Dan Lynch. "We start to see some change here because the hospitals are ready for it."

Fifty-six percent of eligible people in Fresno County have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Forty-six percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.

"The two biggest viral threats during the winter are going to be influenza and COVID," says Fresno County Interim Health Director Dr. Rais Vohra. "And guess what? They're entirely preventable now."

Vaccines rates are on the rise but CDC data shows there's still hesitancy among some people of color, rural communities, and essential workers.

These young health leaders have joined forces with the COVID Equity Project to help dispel myths and build trust in the vaccine.

"They hit the ground right out of the gate," says Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado. "Over 20,000 vaccines can be attributed to this group right here, focused on assisting with operating those clinics. In the African American coalition, actually administering those vaccines directly."

With the holidays coming up, public health officials are aiming to get at least 75 percent of eligible people fully vaccinated by December.

"I think that should be all of our goals here is to have a COVID-free holiday, so when we do come back at the beginning of the year, we're able to manage whatever COVID presents itself in early 2022," Prado said.
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