There’s talk of gift cards, free passes to attractions, or other incentives to get people out to Fresno County’s COVID vaccination sites.
Officials with the health department have seen such a drop in vaccination activity, they’re shutting down a large-scale clinic at Central High School. Anther mass vaccination operation at the department’s Mendota clinic has also seen a tremendous drop off.
It will now be open only on Saturdays.
“Between those two sites, we had a 600 dose capacity and we only realized 25 doses,” said Community Health Manager Joe Prado during a Thursday afternoon media briefing.
“Between those two sites, we had a 600 dose capacity and we only realized 25 doses.”–Fresno County Community Health Manager Joe Prado
Referring to the lull in people coming in to get vaccinated, Dr. Rais Vohra says this was something that he’d anticipated.
“We knew that this was going to happen at some point. I think it’s happened earlier than we would have liked,” said Vohra, the county’s interim health officer.
County officials are preparing a media blitz with targeted billboard messages, radio and tv spots, even Snapchat outreach to connect with younger people.
Prado says the county is only requesting 15,000 doses of vaccine next week.
Currently, 44.3% of county residents age 16+ have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. A total of 609,728 doses have been administered, a figure that includes residents and non-residents.
A Toll Free Number for Help
In an effort to make it easier for people to get information and register for vaccination appointments, the county is now setting up a toll-free and staffed telephone line.
“We will have the appropriate staff there to take your calls and help you with registration or answer your COVID questions,” said Prado.
Fresno County residents can call the (888) 559-2683 for assistance and information weekdays between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FoodMaxx Vaccine Drive-Thru Event
On Saturday, the FoodMaxx supermarket in the downtown area is holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, with no appointment needed.
Adults over 18 years can drive up to get the Moderna vaccine between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Attendees are asked to stay in their car and and follow all traffic instructions.