MERCED COUNTY LAUNCHES COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS AND WEBSITE
MERCED COUNTY, CA—The Merced County Department of Public Health will host COVID-19 vaccination clinics, on January 20th, 21th and 22nd in Merced and Los Banos. Only individuals that meet the criteria under Phase 1A along with individuals 65 years and older will be eligible. Due to a limited vaccine supply and to efficiently administer available doses, eligible individuals will be vaccinated by appointment. Registration will be through the newly launched website, www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com. Additional vaccination sites and options are planned and will be activated as the vaccine becomes more widely available.
At this time, Merced County has received fewer vaccine doses than neighboring counties due to the State’s vaccine distribution formula. County officials are currently advocating for larger quantities and have been successful in those efforts to secure additional vaccine doses. A total of 975 doses are available to be administered this week through the Public Health vaccination clinics.
“The shortage of vaccines is a nationwide issue and is not unique to us locally,” said Dr. Salvador Sandoval, Merced County’s Public Health Officer. “We continue to ask everyone to be patient as we work toward securing additional doses of vaccine to serve the needs of our community.”
Additionally, today, Merced County launched a new website to inform the public of COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts and communicate with eligible individuals as it becomes available. The website, www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com, includes a “Vaccine Interest Survey” where users can answer a few short questions, determine their vaccination category (see attached chart), and sign up to be notified when they are eligible to be vaccinated.
Those currently eligible for the vaccine may be notified directly through their employers or care providers; however, eligibility will soon expand to include additional groups within our community. This tool will serve as a way for the County to communicate with and inform members of the public when they become eligible in future phases of the vaccine distribution plan. Merced County is currently in Phase 1A of its distribution plan, and seniors 65+ will begin to receive vaccinations this week, in accordance with updated State guidelines. Those in the Phase 1A category and seniors 65 years and older can use the www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com website to register for further instructions and priority vaccination information. Those who are eligible to be vaccinated at an upcoming clinic while supply is available will receive a link to a State of California registration site.
“COVID-19 is a battle that we’re fighting hard to overcome, and now we have to finish strong,” said Chairman Daron McDaniel of the Merced County Board of Supervisors. “In the process of putting these tools and communications in place, we’ve heard from our constituents. They can be assured that they will know when they’re eligible to be vaccinated and how they can receive a vaccination. They can also be assured that the Board is placing the highest priority on getting these vaccine doses available as quickly as possible.”
The “Vaccinate Merced County” website will be periodically updated as new information becomes available or as the State changes vaccination eligibility criteria. Individuals using the website to receive a vaccination are required to attest that they are submitting correct information, which will then be validated through documentation at the vaccination site. Additional details will be available on the website.
n addition to vaccinations, the website will also include a feature where community volunteers can sign up to assist with the vaccination efforts in a capacity that fits their abilities and schedules.
As a reminder, it is still a local and statewide mandate to wear a cloth face covering inside of, or in line to enter any indoor public space, or when unable to maintain six feet for social distancing. Merced County health officials strongly urge all residents to exercise the following safety measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
✓ Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
✓ Practice social distancing
✓ Wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
✓ Use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol base when handwashing is not possible
✓ Stay home and isolate, if you are feeling sick
For more information regarding COVID-19 vaccines in Merced County: www.countyofmerced.com/vaccines