MODESTO (CBS13) – The decline in demand for vaccines is forcing Greater Sacramento-area counties to change their vaccination approach. Some are now taking the shot to the community instead.
“The faster people get vaccinated the faster we can get back to normalcy,” said Kamlesh Kaur, public information officer at Stanislaus County Public Health.READ MORE: Fire Burns Multiple Mobile Homes In Sacramento
Counties like Stanislaus are in a sprint to get people vaccinated as we inch closer to California’s June 15 reopening date, but there is one problem.
“We have started seeing lower volume at our clinics,” she explained.
Vaccine rates are slowing down in part because more providers are offering shots. Only 34 percent of the county is at least partially vaccinated, prompting the county to start phasing out their mass vaccinations sites like Modesto Centre Plaza and going mobile by putting clinics in neighborhoods for easier access.
“They are really looking for convenience factor so we want to be where we are more likely to see them. So we are changing our approach,” Kaur said.
About 53 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 are partially vaccinated, but those numbers drop in everyone younger. Health officials are even thinking of putting mobile clinics in areas like the mall to solve the problem.
“Everyone is on a schedule, kids are back to school, I can see where they are trying to approach and make it more comfortable and easier for everyone,” said shopper, Jovita Barjas.READ MORE: West Sacramento Family Describes Being Attacked In Their Apartment
Some shoppers think mall mobile clinics could help residents who haven’t had time to get an appointment.
“I think if they do it at an area like the mall and do extended hours, they will reach a larger community,” said Christina Wool.
About 44 percent of Yolo County is partially vaccinated. About 79% of those vaccinations are among seniors 65 and older. The county says they are also seeing more vaccine vacancies.
They plan to keep their large clinics while establishing smaller ones in neighborhoods that need it the most. The county is partnering with more than a dozen community organizations to help educate and sign residents up for the vaccine.
“We are at the point where we need to start doing more targeted approaches and deeper outreach into some of these communities,” said Jenny Tan, Public Information Officer Yolo County. “With the reopening inching closer every week we need to protect ourselves and each other as much as we can. That means not waiting to get vaccinated,” she explained.
In Sacramento County, it’s a different story. The demand for vaccines there is so high, the county is using a combination of mass vaccination and pop-up sites as well as starting to phase in mobile clinics. Each of those sites is currently at maximum capacity.MORE NEWS: Gov. Newsom Proposes $12B Plan To House California's Homeless
“We have strong partnerships with our community-based organizations to target populations in need that may be harder to reach, while our mass vaccinations sites have the infrastructure and volume to serve more people on a daily basis,” said Janna Haynes Sacramento County Public Information Officer. “We continue to move through the contracting process to bring two more locations to one of our hardest-hit areas (namely, 95823), but until those are ready, we are serving them with the Pannel Center every Friday.”