“We need more vaccines,” said Fresno County Supervisor Brian Pacheco during Tuesday morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The board voted 5-0 to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and describing the COVID vaccine situation in the county “urgent”.
“All of the great work done out on the west side in the (farmworker) community will falter if they don’t give us more vaccines.”–Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau
In the letter, the county is requesting an immediate increase in vaccine allocation.
- The county is requesting an allocation of no less than 10,000 Pfizer doses and 20,000 Moderna doses per week.
- Beginning the week of March 1, the County of Fresno is requesting allocation of 20,000 Pfizer doses and 40,000 Moderna doses per week.
“All of the great work done out on the west side in the (farmworker) community will falter if they don’t give us more vaccines,” said Supervisor Steve Brandau.
County Has the Ability To Get the Vaccines Administered
Supervisor Nathan Magsig says the county has demonstrated how local control of the vaccine distribution is best.
“We’re finding ways to improvise, adapt and overcome these challenges,” Magsig said of the initial stages of vaccine administration. “California for some reason has been challenged to get those vaccines out to counties. But we clearly have demonstrated that whatever the state gives us, we have the capabilities to get out.”
On Monday, Newsom said the state is aware of the challenges and has tripled the pace of getting vaccines administered. From 43,459 per day on January 4, to 131,620 vaccines administered on January 15, Newsom says the state has learned from earlier challenges.
“California for some reason has been challenged to get those vaccines out to counties. But we clearly have demonstrated that whatever the state gives us, we have the capabilities to get out.”–Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig
“Vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am focused on taking the steps needed to get Californians safely vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Newsom said. “Our public health and health care systems have done heroic work administering more than 2.4 million vaccinations thus far. To reach the pace needed to vaccinate all Californians in a timely manner, we are simplifying and standardizing the process statewide.”
Moving forward, state officials said there will be a single statewide standard and movement through the vaccination phases. The state will continue vaccinating people age 65 and older, health care workers, and prioritize emergency services, food and agriculture workers, teachers and school staff. From there, the state will transition to age-based eligibility, allowing California to scale up and down quickly, while ensuring vaccine goes to disproportionately impacted communities, they said.
National Production Needs To Scale Up
“If production was at two million doses, our our health department’s already there to get it out.”–Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes
Supervisor Buddy Mendes says President Joe Biden’s goal of 100 million doses in his first 100 days is only about half of what counties like Fresno really need.
“If production was at two million doses, our our health department’s already there to get it out,” said Mendes. “It just shows you how out of touch (politicians are) the higher you go up the ladder in government from the counties, the more out of touch they are.”
Leadership Counsel Is Ready To Help
“If there’s anything that Leadership Counsel can do to lobby the governor, whoever we need to talk to you, please let us know.”–Leslie Martinez, a policy advocate for the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Leslie Martinez, a policy advocate for the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, spoke during Tuesday morning’s meeting to throw her non-profit’s support behind getting more vaccines into the county.
Martinez says she was impressed with the county’s pilot program to vaccine farmworkers on the west side that began Monday.
“The farmworkers are the first step because farmworkers also have families at home and they live in the unincorporated areas,” said Martinez. “If there’s anything that Leadership Counsel can do to lobby the governor, whoever we need to talk to you, please let us know.”