→Tulare County activates COVID Vaccine Call Center, seeks volunteers to assist with COVID vaccine distribution
→Preparations underway for Phase 1B; anyone 65 and older should make appointment as they become available (link below)
→Dial 2-1-1 to get the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Tulare County
COVID VACCINE CALL CENTER— The Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency has partnered with United Way of Tulare County to activate a COVID Vaccine Call Center for residents seeking information about the vaccine for COVID-19. The Call Center will assist in providing information on distribution and delivery of the much-anticipated COVID vaccine.
The COVID Vaccine Call Center will provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine schedule in Tulare County, assist residents in determining the distribution phase in which they are eligible to receive the vaccine, and assist those who are eligible to receive the vaccine to make an appointment at a Tulare County Vaccine Distribution Clinic.
Vaccine appointments can be made through the Call Center from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays).
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO ASSIST WITH VACCINE ROLLOUT— Tulare County HHSA is seeking volunteers to assist in the rollout and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The County is calling on residents with medical experience as well as anyone willing and able to assist in the massive vaccination effort to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of January 13, about 5,400 residents had been vaccinated in Tulare County, which has a population of 500,000. So just over 1 percent of the population has received the vaccine.
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“The COVID-19 vaccines are the best line of defense in our fight against this disease, but we have a heavy load and a big job in front of us to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Tulare County residents,” said Timothy Lutz, agency director for the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency. “That is why we are calling on our retired or inactive health care workers with active licenses to join us in distributing and administering this vaccine. Your help is going to be critical, especially when we expand eligibility to the general public.”
County health officials are putting out a call to nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, EMTs, dentists, and doctors in an effort to have enough medical workers in place to administer the injections once vaccine supplies are sufficient to begin the next phases of distribution.
Currently, the COVID vaccine is being distributed to those eligible in Phase 1A in Tulare County. Also, anyone 65 years of age and older may make an appointment and be ready to be vaccinated.
The County is also seeking community volunteers to assist in the massive vaccination effort, such as interpreters, computer data entry, and other support roles. Those qualified and interested in volunteering can sign up online:
Medically Trained Volunteers, click here.
Non-Medical Community and General Support Volunteers, click here.
VACCINATING NOW— Due to limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, Tulare County is currently distributing the vaccine to those eligible in Phase 1A only. Here is who is eligible for Phase 1A:
Phase 1A, Tier 1:
• Acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospital staff
• Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, special needs group living equivalent
• Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing medical emergency services
• Dialysis centers
• Residents in long-term care settings
• Staff of residential and inpatient substance abuse disorder treatment and mental health facilities
Phase 1A, Tier 2:
• Intermediate care facilities staff
• Home health care and in-home supportive services
• Community health workers, including promotoras
• Public health field staff
• Primary care clinics, including federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics
Phase 1A, Tier 3:
• Specialty health care clinics (i.e., optometry, cardiology, neurology, outpatient, surgery, physical therapy, etc.)
• Laboratory workers
• Dental and other oral health clinics
• Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers
• Mortuary service industry
This who meet the eligibility requirements for Phase 1A may register to get vaccinated here.
FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE VACCINATION EXPERIENCE
Three Rivers residents Autumn Davidson; her husband, Tom Baker; and Benita von Dehn, all veterinarians, have all received the first dose of two of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines were administered during a drive-through event at the Tulare County HHSA headquarters, beginning with Autumn on Friday, January 8.
“They advised us they will be in contact for scheduling the booster in 4 weeks,” reported Autumn. “That has not happened yet.”
Veterinarians and veterinary team members to be considered a priority group for vaccination because they support the food and agriculture industries. They are also at risk of exposure from members of the public and, possibly, certain animal species that can be invented with the virus.
“We were given materials to sign up for ‘V-safe,’ the smartphone-based tool to follow up on reactions to the vaccine,” she continued. “The CDC texts to ask about side effects every few days.”
Through V-safe, anyone who has received the vaccine can quickly tell CDC if they have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Autumn stated that she, Tom, and Benita had typical vaccination muscle soreness at injection site.
“No worse than flu or tetanus,” she said.
PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR PHASE 1B— Preparations are underway to begin rolling out vaccines to those eligible in Phase 1B as soon as possible, once Tulare County has an ample supply of vaccine. Anyone 65 years of age and older may make an appointment here.
The next phases of COVID Vaccine Distribution are as follows:
Phase 1B, Tier 1:
• Individuals aged 75 years and older
• Essential workers in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture
Phase 1B, Tier 2:
• Individuals aged 65–74 years of age
• Essential workers in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing
• Congregate settings: incarceration facilities and homeless
• Individuals 50–64 years of age
• Persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions
• Essential workers in the following sectors: water and wastewater; defense; energy; chemical and hazardous materials; communications and IT; financial services; government operations/community-based essential functions
TULARE COUNTY COVID-19 VACCINE INTEREST FORM— Tulare County residents can inform County health officials of their intent to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by completing the Tulare County COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form. Residents can sign up for vaccine notifications that will inform them of when their tier is eligible and where they can go to get vaccinated