February 15, 2021 – Today, the state added a new dataset to the vaccination portion of their COVID-19 website. However, the new “Vaccines on hand” data block falls short of expectations. The dataset needs more refining before being a valuable transparency and equity tool.

Total doses on hand shows 1,487,770 doses, including 3,625 for Nevada County. So, are there vaccine doses sitting in freezers while people wanting to be immunized can’t get an appointment? ‘No’ is the short answer, even from the State.

A disclaimer on the data table, not visible on many mobile devices, reads:

How to Read: This data represents the data provided by each entity into the CDC’s Vaccine Database, VaccineFinder. Each day the State of a California receives this data. Things to remember as you look at the data: This data reflects vaccine on hand and does not account for planned appointments. It is important to double check if there are appointments available. Vaccines available may likely be reserved for appointments already planned for the week. Data by county represents local health departments and “independent providers” at this time. Providers like Kaiser, Providence and Sutter are not yet included in the County breakdowns, as Multi-County Entities (MCEs) they are reported under their corporate names. Providers such as Safeway, Vons, and Pavillions, as well as Ralph’s, which are part of non-California based chains, will not show up in this report with doses in inventory. We will continue to make this reporting more transparent; please expect further updates and insights in the coming weeks.

Source CDPH Tableau data

A closer look at the Nevada County data

Nevada County has more appointments scheduled next week than Public Health or local providers have on-hand, according to a county news release. They will dip into the incoming allocation to fulfill all appointments. Appointments are scheduled weekly after the number of available doses is known, generally on Thursdays.

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, which is listed under Dignity Health, and Tahoe Forest Hospital are continuing to reach out to their most vulnerable patients and offer immunizations. On the state data, Tahoe Forest is listed under Nevada County only, but provides appointments for Placer residents as well.

The doses on hand reported for Nevada County Public Health are doses allocated for use starting tomorrow throughout the week, according to Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann, “It is important to note that vaccine ‘on-hand’ does not mean that it is sitting on shelves unused. Nevada County is a great community because of relationships and a spirit of collaboration. Through the extraordinary generosity of our partners like Dokimos, and through the hard work and collaboration with healthcare leaders such as Public Health, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Tahoe Forest Hospital, we have increased the number of vaccine doses administered to Nevada County residents from 5,754 on January 29th, to 15,319 as of February 15th.”

“Nearly 4,000 doses have been received just in the last two weeks,” said Nevada County Public Health Director Jill Blake. “As more and more of Nevada County’s disproportionately older population become eligible for vaccine, we have expanded our capacity to ensure that we can continue scheduling vaccine out for delivery as soon as it is made available to us.”