Solano County plans for mass booster vaccination clinics in October

[BenIndy Editor: Note that local pharmacies are ALREADY offering boosters to those who received the Pfizer vaccine, six months after their second dose.  I got mine on Saturday!  Eligibility includes those ages 65+ and those ages 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions or at high risk for occupational or institutional exposure.  To schedule an appointment, see CVS or Rite Aid.  – R.S.]

Solano Public Health ready to move forward on mass booster vaccination program

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen. September 29, 2021

FAIRFIELD — Solano County Public Health expects to hold 32 mass Covid-19 booster vaccination clinics starting in mid-October.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.7 million contract with Hammond Entertainment Productions LLC through Jan. 15 to provide logistical support at the clinics at the Solano County fairgrounds in Vallejo.

The board also approved a $1.95 million appropriations transfer to recognize unanticipated revenue from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase Covid-19 vaccination services.

The county is also expanding to five days its testing and vaccine clinic at the Solano Town Center mall in Fairfield.

About two-thirds of Solano County residents 12 or older have been fully vaccinated, and 77% of that population has received at least one shot, the county reported.

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Health Officer

Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, gave the board a breakdown of how the booster programs are going to work.

The county is already giving “third vaccine doses” to those who are immunocompromised, noting the care not to use booster in the description because of regulatory requirements.

The actual booster program will target about 200,000 residents, starting with those 65 or older, and those 18 to 64 who are at high risk for illness. Matyas expects about 125,000 to take advantage of the program.

The next group will be long-term care facility employees, medical staff and first-responders.

With the help of Kaiser Permanente, Matyas said the county expects to get to all 150 long-term care facilities in the county by mid-October.

“That has already begun,” Matyas said.

The county will be offering the normal vaccine programs for those who are unvaccinated, and will include flu shots when possible. The limiting issue there is flu vaccine, but the county hopes to get help from its partners, such as hospitals and pharmacies.

The biggest concern for the success of the booster program is whether there are enough medical staff and related volunteers to conduct the clinics due to the shortage of medical personnel.

“The traveling nurse organizations are telling us no one wants to be a traveling nurse anymore,” Matyas said.

Moreover, the deadline for all personnel at medical facilities to be vaccinated is Thursday. If they do not get vaccinated, they cannot return to work.

Matyas said he does not think that is going to be a problem in Solano County, but other areas could be greatly affected, and that, in turn, will create more competition for other resources the county has hired for its mass clinics and its pop-up clinics, which are also planned.

Matyas also noted that Pfizer expects to seek emergency approval for a vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, and the county is gearing up to go to schools when that is approved.