Fresno County to open 5 new vaccine clinics in rural areas this month

Fresno County is making progress in its efforts to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations.

Video Transcript

BRITTANY JACOB: On Monday more than four million people with certain health conditions will be allowed to get vaccinated statewide. Within Fresno County that's hundreds of thousands of people. Local health officials say they are opening more clinics to help serve those who qualify.

- Many Valley counties are now one step closer to the red tier after state health officials announced changes to the metrics for moving out of the purple. They previously had to have seven cases or fewer per 100,000 people, but now they're allowed to have up to 10. Fresno County currently sits at 12.6, but Dr. Rais Vohra says that could change by next week.

RAIS VOHRA: Basically it will be easier for us to move into red tier. My fingers are crossed that that will happen that soon.

- Vaccinations are also an important factor for reopening. More than 288,000 doses have been allocated to Fresno County so far, including 37,000 set to arrive next week. However, there will not be a new supply of the single dose Johnson & Johnson shots until March 23rd.

- All right, then your time's up.

- Starting Monday many more residents will be eligible for vaccines. If you have a health condition such as cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, or any on this list then you qualify, however you will need a doctor's note, or you will have to fill out the self attestation form on the Fresno County Health Department's website.

RAIS VOHRA: That's why we really need everyone to partner and plan ahead. So that we don't get a lot of bottlenecks at the mass vaccination sites.

- The health department is planning to open five new vaccine clinics in some of the county's more rural areas. One next week in Sanger, and then sites in Kerman, Selma, Mendota, and Fresno City College toward the end of the month. Dr. Vohra says Fresno County is making progress in its efforts to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations, and is moving in the right direction overall.

RAIS VOHRA: We can't be in pandemic mode forever, that we do need to move beyond this, and we need to start thinking about how to rationally reopen. But to do so gracefully.

BRITTANY JACOB: Now the State Department announced today that it expects 13 counties to move from purple to the red tier on Tuesday, including Kings and Tulare. You can find more information about tiers, and if you are eligible for a vaccine on our website at abc30.com. In the studio, Brittany Jacob, "ABC 30 Action News."