Fresno County health officials urging public to take COVID vaccine when available

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County health officials say they are continuing to distribute daily doses to hospitals but with the second FDA authorized vaccine, health officials already have plans in place.

It's a second shot of hope for the country.

The FDA approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, joining Pfizer in offering hospitals across the Valley more vaccinations as soon as next week.

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"We are in a very grim, challenging time when it comes to the pandemic," says Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

Dr. Rais Vohra got the vaccine on Friday.

"It wasn't even a pin prick, I hardly felt it," he said.

As of Friday, the San Joaquin Region is back at 0 percent of its ICU capacity.

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While the Fresno health officials are glad the Moderna vaccine will be on its way, they continue to encourage the public to get vaccinated.

"We are working with our community-based organizations, just to help them reach out to the communities that they serve and really get feedback about what those concerns are - and help people find good information," Dr. Vohra said.

They anticipate the general public getting the vaccine in late spring, early summer of next year.

Right now, the health department is continuing to distribute the vaccine to hospitals.

The biggest difference of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine is the limited time frame; the Moderna vaccine has a bigger window for refrigeration, making it easier to manage.

"That's going to be the benefit of bringing on another vaccine next week - it has that type of time period in refrigeration," says Community Health Division Manager Joe Prado.

Now that the Moderna vaccine is authorized, the state could receive more than 2 million vaccines by the end of December.

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"This is our best shot at reopening and we really need to take it," Dr. Vohra said.

Fresno County is slated to recieve 14,800 Moderna vaccines, along with 3,900 Pfizer vaccines next week.
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