COVID-19 · Fresno

Fresno Co. opens high volume COVID-19 vaccine distribution site at fairgrounds

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors announced Thursday that a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Fresno Fairgrounds is up and running. 

The site can provide 1,500 doses per day, and supervisor Buddy Mendes said there were already 1,000 people served on Tuesday, just the second day in operation. 

Health care workers who are currently not receiving the vaccine through their workplace can register online to reserve a time to be vaccinated at the fairgrounds clinic. 

The county’s message is clear: This is the week for health care workers to get vaccinated. 

“If you are in health care, whether you’re at a hospital, or whether you’re in a clinic, if you’re providing any kind of health care services at all, if you’re part of the health care system, today’s your day,” said Dr. Rais Vohra, the county’s interim health officer. “This is your week. Come on down. We’ve got a great site set up here at the fairgrounds.” 

With the fairgrounds site up and running, Vohra expects the county to vaccinate 3,000 people every day by the end of the week. 

Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez celebrated the move by county officials on Tuesday, noting that the highest density of cases in Fresno County originate out of southeast Fresno, home of the Fresno Fairgrounds.

“Special thanks belong to our partners at the County for their proactive approach to vaccinating our hard-working frontline workers and, eventually, Fresnans of every stripe,” Chavez said.

“”This vaccination center is another great opportunity for the City and County of Fresno to work together, navigate this crisis in a unified front, and get our region back on the road to recovery.”

Starting next week the county is opening up the vaccine distribution to the next tier of individuals, per the following vaccine schedule released by the county.

Supervisor Nathan Magsig said the county has already started to vaccinate individuals in Tier 3 of Phase 1A. 

Next week the county will start vaccinating individuals aged 75 and older in Phase 1B, as well as continuing to distribute the vaccine to the health care workers in Phase 1A. 

“Starting on Jan. 18, if you’re 75 and older, you can go ahead and plan on getting your vaccine,” Vohra said. 

Vohra and FCDPH Director Dave Pomaville encouraged everyone who is 75 and older to also talk with their primary care providers, since some providers will receive allocations of the vaccine from the county starting next week. 

Overall, the county has received 44,000 doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines since mid-December, and the next shipment will arrive Thursday. 

Following last week’s news that the county’s Moderna vaccine freezer broke, FCDPH Division Manager Joe Prado said Tuesday that the county will only receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

“We are getting that worked on today,” Prado said. “We hope the Moderna freezer comes back online for next week so we can order a larger shipment of Moderna.” 

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.