BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The vaccine news is sounding more and more promising on both the national and the county fronts — promising enough that the public health department held an event for the media Tuesday designed, pure and simple, to get the word out to the eligible public: the vaccine is here and it’s safe, so come and get it — just register first.
The pace of COVID-19 vaccination has been picking up all over the country, with three separate vaccines having gained emergency approval, and now President Biden announcing a May 31 target date for the nationwide vaccination of all willing adults.
That sort of cautiously hopeful outlook was on display at the Kern County Fairgrounds, where county public health sought to demystify for any eligible potential vaccine recipients who might still have some reservations.
Devin brown of the county human resources department said the county will vaccinate 1,120 people every day this week, Wednesday through Sunday — nearly three times as many as were vaccinated on day one seven weeks ago.
“We’ve been able to increase our allotment each week from 300 doses our very first day and now we’re entering week seven,” he said.
Michael Minner, like everyone else in attendance Tuesday, received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“In the short term,” he said, “it means I don’t have to worry about infecting the people I meet in business or bringing anything home to my family.”
Evelyn Boyd said it’s especially important to reassure Black Americans, who are being vaccinated at a lower rate than whites and catching COVID-19 at higher rate.
“I think if I (get vaccinated) — if they see me out here, they’ll be a little bit more comfortable,” she said. “I think everyone should get the shot.”
Might this push by the county to encourage eligible people to get the shot result in some frustration among those who are anxiously waiting? Possibly, but county health officials are reasonably confident that the vaccine pipeline will continue to flow with as many doses as they have the personnel hours to administer them.
“This will be a good stress test here,” Brown said, “and we’re hoping that we’ll rise to the challenge and have another successful week out here.”
So, the message: these vaccines are safe, effective and increasingly available.
The county’s recommendation: Make an appointment by registering through myturn.ca.gov..