Kings County to receive 975 initial doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this week

By The Leader Staff
Kings County to receive 975 initial doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this week

The Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) is working with Adventist Health and local health providers to quickly administer the 975 initial doses of federally allocated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines expected to arrive in Kings County this week.

An additional 100 Moderna vaccine initial doses are expected to arrive by the middle of next week. These vaccines require a second dose, which will be provided by the federal government in the following weeks as necessary.

“This is the first step on a long path to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is one of many tools available to combat this disease, and we encourage Kings County residents to continue doing their part to stay safe and protect others,” stated Darcy Pickens, the Assistant Director of Kings County Department of Public Health.

Requirements established by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provide a phased approach to administering the vaccine. Additionally, the State has launched its Vaccinate ALL 58 campaign, which provides additional details, resources, and information to the public at The Vaccine distribution process is currently in Phase 1a, divided into three tiers, which include residents and employees of the following:

Tier 1

  • Acute care, psychiatric and correctional facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable individuals
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis Centers

Tier 2

  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Home health care & in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers
  • Public health field staff
  • Primary Care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics

Tier 3

  • Specialty clinics
  • Laboratory workers
  • Dental/oral health clinics
  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

In addition to the 1,075 total vaccine doses that are allocated to the KCDPH for redistribution to pre-assigned tiers, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is partnering with pharmacies to also administer vaccines.

Local skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are able to register with a local pharmacy to participate in this program and are scheduled to receive their initial allotments at the end of December. The intent of the initial distribution of vaccines is to protect those that are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19 and to ensure the health care workers that provide critical care are well enough to do so.

California’s Stay-at-Home Order Update

The CDPH has updated its guidance relating to the stay-at-home order implemented for the San Joaquin Valley region on December 6, 2020. The list of sectors that must close (except to the extent that their operations fall within critical infrastructure) has been modified to the following:

  • Indoor recreational facilities, including indoor gyms and fitness centers
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services, including esthetic and skincare services, electrology services, nail services, tattoo and piercing facilities, and massage services.
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums
  • Movie theaters
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services, such as door-to-door services and sales, pet grooming, and dog walking
  • Live audience sports

The KCDPH would like to remind Kings County residents that the most recent stay-at-home order issued by the State of California was implemented due to the recent dramatic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. “We are seeing increasing numbers of positive cases daily, which has impacted the number of intensive care beds available throughout the San Joaquin Valley region,” said Edward Hill, Director of Kings County Department of Public Health. “We are working with our local health care providers and the State to ensure that individuals receive the level of care they require, and collaboratively, we have been able to meet that demand.”

Director Hill added, “The recent sharp increase in cases demonstrates how important it is to stay home if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. These include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. We have seen an increase in cases where individuals assume they have a common cold and test positive days later. This then requires the quarantine of many other individuals which could be avoided.”

The County continues to stress the importance of following best practices known to limit the spread of communicable diseases. The following actions can prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kings County and help protect residents from respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Stay in your home as much as possible.
  • Wear a facemask or covering, and practice physical distancing of at least six feet if it is necessary to leave your home.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough, or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
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