Humboldt County shifting from mass vaccination clinics to mobile clinic approach for Covid-19 vaccines

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — More than 63,000 Humboldt County residents have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. As rollout continues, Public Health’s focus is shifting from mass vaccination clinics, like the one in Arcata, to a mobile clinic model, like the one held in Samoa last week. 

“Doing mass vaccination where you have a static site, where you are doing very high volume in one particular place is not going to meet the needs of this community long term. We see there are needs in Petrolia, there’s needs in honeydew, there’s needs in Orleans. We need to make sure that we are reaching those that can’t make it to a mass vaccination site for whatever reason,” according to Emergency Operations Center Operations Chief Sofia Pereira.

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On top of wanting to get vaccines into the more rural, remote parts of the County, Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman says this decision to focus on more mobile outreach is driven by a drop in demand.

“Once we noticed that the demand for the mass vaccination sites was dropping, we responded by offering less appointments there because there’s no reason to offer 1,000 appointments when 300 or 400 fill,” Dr. Hoffman says.

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With the move to smaller community clinics, health officials remind residents that they won’t see as big of an increase in vaccination numbers week to week like we did when vaccine rollout began. Each shot is one step closer to vaccinating as much of the local community as possible.

“We’re not going to see those high mass vaccination numbers, but it’s going to be doing that ground work to make sure we’re reaching those that need it most,” Pereira adds.

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The County says they have over 13,000 vaccine doses in its inventory, and will not be requesting any more from the state for next week.