Fresno County officials say COVID vaccine doses aren't coming fast enough

'We requested 20,000 doses, we were provided 5,100 additional doses'
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Health officials say the escalating loss of life is adding more urgency to get people vaccinated for COVID-19.

Fresno County health officials say they are asking the state for more doses as they work to meet intense demand.

They say the doses aren't coming in as fast as they'd like.

"We are going to be running out of vaccine if our allocation doesn't increase," says interim health officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

To date, the Department of Public Health has received a total of 86,000 doses.

But right now, they're only getting between 8,000 and 10,000 doses per week.

The county needs more as they work to expand capacity.

"We requested 20,000 doses, we were provided 5,100 additional doses," says Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado.

Adjustments have now been made to distribution clinics so they have enough vaccine to administer both shots.

"We are telling our providers who receive doses this week, to manage that as their first and second dose," says Prado.

Vohra says they didn't get the batch of the Moderna vaccine which may be causing higher than average rates of allergic reactions.

They are however investigating if any county hospitals who received a direct shipment from the state administered it.

"While none of that came through the Fresno County Department of Public Health, we do understand that the Adventist Health System did receive some. It is possible that the Adventist Hospitals in our county might have used that lot," he says.

On Tuesday, the county-wide rollout of the Moderna vaccine continued.

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Residents we spoke with say they had no concerns about getting the Moderna shot and described the process as painless.

Cars started lining up in the early morning hours to be among the first at the Sierra Pacific Orthopedics drive-through clinic in northeast Fresno.

"We got here about 3:30 am and we're just getting out right now, 9:30 am right now, the wait is not that bad. We sat there and waited patiently," said Frank McClish Olvera.

Sierra Pacific Orthopedics plans to administer 1,000 doses of Moderna a day to healthcare workers and those 75 and older, after being forced to shut down Monday due to a low supply of vaccines.

"On Friday of last week, we determined to not vaccinate on Monday so we had vaccines to open up on Tuesday. Our new shipment comes today and then we'll have enough to finish out this week and next," said Director of Sports Medicine at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics Rick Lembo.

Residents Action News spoke with said they had no concerns about getting the Moderna shot and described the process as painless.

"We know that we are getting different lots now, not the same lots that people had some kind of reaction to," said Michael Mikaelian.

This week the county will open up vaccinations to at-home health workers.
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