THE RECORDER

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Tulare County continues in its effort to roll out COVID-19 vaccines at a faster pace.

Tulare County Health and Human Services also released its COVID-19 vaccine schedule on Thursday.

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread at alarming rates throughout Tulare County. In the midst of an ongoing surge of infections following holiday social gatherings,” the health department's press release stated. “Tulare County Public Health releases its COVID-19 Vaccine Schedule for distribution and delivery of the much-anticipated vaccine to end the pandemic.”

The schedule and up-to-date information on vaccines is available at https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

Right now those in Phase 1A can be vaccinated. They're described as “persons at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings.”

“Due to limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, Tulare County is currently distributing COVID-19 vaccine to those eligible in Phase 1A ONLY,” the press release stated. The county listed those who are in Phase 1A and those in Phase IA are prioritized in three tiers. Those in Phase I who are willing to receive the vaccine are as follows:

Phase 1A, Tier 1:

  • Acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospital staff

  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, special needs group living equivalent

  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing medical emergency services

  • Dialysis centers

  • Residents in long-term care settings

  • Staff of residential and inpatient substance abuse disorder treatment and mental health facilities

Phase 1A, Tier 2:

  • Intermediate care facilities staff

  • Home health care and in-home supportive services

  • Community health workers,

  • Public health field staff

  • Primary care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics

Phase 1A, Tier 3:

  • Specialty health care clinics (i.e., optometry, cardiology, neurology, outpatient, surgery, physical therapy, etc.)

  • Laboratory workers

  • Dental and other oral health clinics

  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

  • Mortuary service industry

Those who are in Phase 1A can register to be vaccinated at https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine/tulare-county-covid-19-vaccine-phase-1a/

Those receiving vaccines in Phase 1A will be required to show proof of eligibility.

Next comes Phase 1B. County officials have stated they hoped those in Phase 1B can begin to be vaccinated as soon as January 19. Those who could be vaccinated at that time include farmworkers, teachers and those 75 and older.

 “Currently, Tulare County Public Health is ONLY vaccinating those who are eligible in Phase 1A,” the press release stated. Once COVID-19 vaccine supply expands and those who qualify for Phase 1A have been vaccinated, Tulare County Public Health will begin vaccinating residents that meet the requirements of distribution to Phase 1B and Phase 1C of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan.”

Those who are in Phase IB and IC as listed by the county are:

Phase 1B, Tier 1:

  • Individuals aged 75 years and older

  • Essential workers in the following sectors: education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture

Phase 1B, Tier 2:

  • Individuals aged 65-74 years of age

  • Essential workers in the following sectors: transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential, and sheltering facilities and services; critical manufacturing

  • Congregate settings: incarceration facilities and homeless

 Phase 1C

  • Individuals 50-64 years of age

  • Persons aged 16 – 64 years with high-risk medical conditions

  • Essential workers in the following sectors: water and wastewater; defense; energy; chemical and hazardous materials; communications and IT; financial services; government operations/community-based essential functions.

 Tulare County residents can sign up for vaccine notifications of when they're eligible and where they can go to get vaccinated by completing the Tulare County COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form online at: https://arcg.is/0KKez4.

It should noted the website includes the numeral zero and not a capital O.

Also on Thursday, the county began with its effort to have more volunteers help with the vaccination effort. As of Thursday morning

As of Thursday morning, the county set up an email address. The email address is TCvaccinevolunteer@tularecounty.ca.gov Anyone interested in administering vaccines or those such as service clubs or individuals who would like to help with the logistics with administering vaccines such as data entry can email the county at that address. The county was also in the process of setting up a phone number for people to call to volunteer.

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