Local News

County Announces Supersites to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

Orange County’s Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has announced that it will be partnering with the Orange County Fire Authority to help administer COVID-19 vaccines through a program called Operation Independence, a County Incident Management Team (IMT). Operation Independence will find sites for “Super Point-of-Dispensing (POD)” vaccination sites to be located throughout the County. Five Super PODS are anticipated, each administering “thousands” of vaccines per day, according to a January 7 OCHCA press release.

Healthcare workers and others falling into Phase 1A of the State of California’s Phased Tier Vaccination Plan have already received the vaccine (https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#When-can-I-get-vaccinated).

According to OCHCA, “Vaccines will be dispensed at County Super PODs only to Orange County residents and those who work in Orange County who qualify. A vaccine will not be delivered unless identification and documentation of vaccine eligibility are presented at the site. To view a list of who is eligible to receive a vaccine, visit the OC Health Care Agency website: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/phased-approach-vaccine-distribution.

The state of California has adopted a three-phased plan of vaccination administration based on need and risk of the State’s nearly 40 million residents.

Phase 1A, which includes approximately 3 million people, reserves vaccines for health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

Phase 1B, Tier One includes individuals aged 75 or older.

Phase 1B, Tier Two includes individuals age 65-74, frontline workers in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing, and homeless and incarcerated individuals in congregate settings at risk for outbreaks.

Phase 1C, individuals 50 – 64 years of age, individuals 16 – 49 years of age with underlying health conditions or disabilities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, and those at risk of exposure in the workplace in the following sectors: water and wastewater; defense; energy; chemical and hazardous materials; communications and IT; financial services; government operations/ community-based essential functions.

In the last 48 hours, Governor Gavin Newsom relaxed the flexibility between the plan’s tiers in order to make sure no doses go to waste in the event that vaccines, which have a short shelf life once removed from refrigeration, are available at a site but no individuals from an intended tier are present to receive the dose(s).

The State has already received over 2 million doses. Gov. Newsom called the vaccine “scarce.” An additional 1 million doses are expected within the next ten days.

The State is budgeting $372 million based on the estimated amount needed for distribution and communication of and about the vaccine statewide. Gov. Gavin Newsom noted that the state of California distributes over 19 million flu vaccines every year—only 10% through counties.

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