Madera County adds more people to COVID vaccine eligibility list

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- More people will be allowed to get vaccinated in Madera County after health officials expanded the county's eligibility requirements.

RELATED: Central California COVID-19 vaccines: How to make an appointment, latest information by county

Starting this week, those who fall into one of the following populations or works in one of these industries can sign up to receive their vaccine:

  • People who live, work or volunteer in any congregate residential setting such as an incarceration/detention facility, homeless shelter, behavioral health facility, etc.
  • Public transport workers
  • Airport and commercial airline workers (excluding private air travel)
  • Janitors
  • Homeless population
  • Those suffering certain medical conditions
  • Those with severely high-risk medical conditions

  • Local health officials say they've expanded the eligibility list to help those who are among the most at-risk have access to their shots.

    If you are now eligible in Madera County, you find vaccine registration information by clicking here or by calling 311.

    "This is great. We were waiting for this and we are excited to help with vaccinations of this category," says Dr. Bakht Roshan with Madera Community Hospital.

    Madera Public Health Director Sara Bosse says declaring you have a qualifying health condition upon registration will be based on the honor system, and in many cases as easy as checking a box.

    "We are not wanting to limit this important population from being able to access a vaccine," said Bosse.

    RELATED: Cheat sheet: CDC guidelines on what you can and can't do after being fully vaccinated

    People in newly qualifying industries should be prepared to show proof of employment upon receiving their shot.

    "It can be an ID badge, a pay stub, an email address, a business card," said Bosse.

    The homeless and inmates in Madera County now qualify for vaccines as well. Madera County's jail got started almost immediately

    "Started vaccines as of this afternoon and actually, they are still being vaccinated as we speak," said Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue.

    Sheriff Pogue said about 40% of the jail's 440 inmates have opted to receive the Moderna vaccine. A total of 170 inmates will receive their first dose this week.

    "There are so many people housed in these facilities in close quarters that if we do have an outbreak, it's obviously a big concern," he said.

    So far, more than 39,000 doses have been administered in Madera County. Almost 26,000 Madera county residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine - 16% of the county's population

    "The size of our county makes it a little bit easier for us to manage the numbers and be able to incorporate strategies to reach out to hard-to-reach populations," said Bosse.
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