For the second week in a row, Fresno County will receive an increased supply of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state.
Since vaccine distribution began, the state was typically providing Fresno County with 8,000 vaccine doses every week.
This week, however, Fresno County received 19,000 doses, and Fresno County Department of Public Health Division Manager Joe Prado said Friday that the county will receive 18,000 doses next week.
Additionally, Fresno County surpassed the 100,000 mark for the number of vaccines administered.
“Definitely a high five for that because this is what Fresno County can do when we all come together through all of our partnerships and collaboration,” Prado said. “There’s been a lot learned in these past 45 days or so to get to 100,000 doses. A lot of the lessons learned, we’re trying to make our adjustments, trying to continue to build these partnerships and really build this distribution capacity in Fresno County. But a real good milestone that we just hit here.”
Prado also welcomed the news that CVS and Rite Aid are starting to administer the vaccine. The pharmacies receive their vaccine doses from the federal government, so any doses they administer in Fresno County will only be a positive contribution and will not eat into the county’s total weekly allotment from the state.
“You’re slowly seeing this increased capacity now at the national pharmacy level, which is a huge plus to have them here in Fresno County,” Prado said. “That’s just going to be able to help our communities really access this vaccine.”
While the vaccine distribution continues on a positive path, the county’s hospitals – while still facing a surge from a variety of different illnesses that are normal for this time of year – are continuing to be impacted less and less by the virus.
Fresno County currently has 325 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus, as well as an additional 21 patients who are suspected of contracting COVID-19.
That total was up to about 700 at the beginning of January. The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients being cared for in the ICU is still fairly high at 87.
The Department of Defence medical team that arrived at CRMC at the end of December to provide additional support in the ICU left Friday.
Given the lower hospitalization numbers, the county’s need for the DOD team is not as great as it once was, but Fresno County Emergency Medical Services Director Dan Lynch stressed that the hospitals are still very busy as they are near capacity.
Lynch said that county hospitals are receiving additional staffing from the state as the hospitals begin to return to somewhat normal operations.
Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno, for example, is welcoming 80 nurses from the state to provide care across the spectrum.