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Lack Of Stockpile Disrupts Valley's COVID-19 Vaccine Supply – Virus Update For Jan. 22

Fresno County's Community Health Division Manager Joe Prado speaks about the COVID-19 vaccine during a virtual media briefing on January 19, 2021.

Today, more people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than ever, and county health departments across the San Joaquin Valley have been building up the infrastructure at fairgrounds, schools, clinics and other sites in order to offer thousands of vaccinations each day.

However, late last week, the Washington Post revealed that the U.S. does not have the national stockpile of COVID-19 vaccines that it had promised to governors. Then, out of an abundance of caution, state health officials over the weekend ordered a temporary halt on a batch of vaccines thought to be associated with a higher-than-expected number of allergic reactions.

No other adverse reactions have been reported from those vaccines, and that halt has since been lifted, but these supply issues are part of the reason many eligible Valley residents are struggling to find available appointment times at vaccination clinics.

This week’s COVID-19 explains why vaccine availability has slowed in the Valley, featuring excerpts of discussions with Dan Lynch, emergency medical services director for Fresno County, and Joe Prado, the county’s community health division manager.

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of Jan. 21:

  • 2,767 total deaths out of 272,727 total cases
  • 1,371 people hospitalized and 258 in ICUs
  • 284 deaths reported in the last week*
  • 2,434 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a backlog from December in Kings County that was only added to data dashboard this week

As of 1 week previous, Jan. 14:

  • 2,483 total deaths out of 255,689 total cases
  • 1,490 people hospitalized and 253 in ICUs
  • 292 deaths reported in the last week*
  • 3,162 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a data update from Fresno County after a 10-day hiatus; it’s likely many of these deaths occurred in weeks prior

As of 4 weeks previous, Dec. 24:

  • 1,966 total deaths out of 195,893 total cases
  • 1,371 people hospitalized and 235 in ICUs
  • 164 deaths reported in the last week
  • 3,411 average cases reported daily in last week

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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