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NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. February 15, 2021 – In one month, people aged 16-64 with severe health conditions will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – if supplies allow.

Clinic director Donna Tully and Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann in the Whispering Pines facility on Friday, Feb. 12. Photo YubaNet

Currently, local Public Health Departments can only plan clinic appointments and vaccine allocations a week in advance. Nevada County, and all other California counties, hear about dose allocation for the coming week late Tuesday or Wednesday. Then, the collaborating healthcare providers report their inventory and needs by late Wednesday. On Thursday, Public Health finalizes and distributes the plan for the coming week.

For example, this week Nevada County Public Health has “more doses scheduled to go into arms next week then on-hand so not only are they all scheduled, we’re already scheduling doses that haven’t even arrived yet,” said Health and Human Services Director Ryan Gruver.

“Because our allocations are different from week to week, there will always be a bit of a lag in what we and other providers have on hand and what we have scheduled. We need at least a few days after we learn of the most recent allocation to plan and schedule the clinics and appointments,” added Public Health Director Jill Blake.

The bottleneck of limited vaccine supply and scarce allocations is expected to slowly diminish in the coming weeks. Then, the new vaccine clinic will ramp up operations. Other providers, like healthcare systems and pharmacies are likewise poised to deliver every dose received.

During Friday’s official opening of Nevada County’s new clinic, Supervisor Sue Hoek highlighted the collaborative work of local government and private partners, including the hospital and local non-profits that made the clinic a reality.

As availability increases, more appointments will be available through the MyTurn website and providers are continuing to reach out to the most vulnerable patients.

Changes coming March 15, 2021

Based on a new California Department of Public Health provider directive issued Friday, people aged 16-64 affected by the following severe health conditions can be immunized – if supplies allow:

  • Cancer, current with debilitated or immunocompromised state
  • Chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or above
  • Chronic pulmonary disease,  oxygen dependent
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies (excludes hypertension)
  • Severe obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus with hemoglobin A1c level greater than 7.5%

    OR

If as a result of a developmental or other severe high-risk disability one or more of the following applies:

  • The individual is likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
  • Acquiring COVID-19 will limit the individual’s ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to their well-being and survival
  • Providing adequate and timely COVID care will be particularly challenging as a result of the individual’s disability

Join us every Thursday at noon for the latest updates on Nevada County’s status on COVID-19 and vaccines. Register once and you can tune in live to all the weekly virtual town hall webinars. Or, watch at your convenience on our YouTube channel.