PLACER COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — As California races against time to get vaccines in arms, public health workers in Placer County are doing their part to make sure their residents are protected from the coronavirus.
“There’s still not enough vaccine and we wish we were able to offer vaccine to everyone who wants it but, I guess, relative to some other counties we’re doing pretty well,” said Placer County Health and Services Director Dr. Rob Oldham.
Oldham told FOX40 that as of Tuesday, 80,000 vaccines have been administered in Placer County so far.
The county’s vaccination rate is faster than most other counties in the state based on population size, with about 20,000 doses per 100,000 people. For comparison, Sacramento County has a vaccination rate of 13,696.7 doses per 100,000 residents.
“We’re still literally learning every day and trying new things out, so, again, what’s led to our success? I think we’ve had a team that’s really been thoughtful about planning things, trying different things out and if it’s not working, being willing to admit something’s not working and trying something else,” Oldham explained.
Though he’s pleased with the speed of the rollout so far, Oldham said his county still has a long way to go.
In the beginning of February, his biggest county-run clinic at the grounds gave out nearly 6,000 COVID-19 vaccines, bringing the total number of doses administered at that site to 22,000.
With health care workers, nursing home residents, teachers, emergency services workers and those 65 years and older now eligible for their shot, Oldham said you might have to wait for an appointment.
“We’re really ramping up. Things are still rocky, the scheduling is still challenging,” he said.
Oldham said that although county-run clinics, paired with local partnerships with healthcare providers, have helped smooth out distribution, more are still needed to reach everyone in the county.
As of Tuesday, Oldham said about 50,000 of the county’s 400,000 people received both of their COVID-19 doses.
With health experts saying 85% of the public needs to be fully vaccinated to bring the pandemic under control, Oldham said he’d like to see his county get closer to that target by June.
“I think it’s reasonable to think that by summer, we’ll get to 50%” Oldham said.
Oldham said he hopes that everyone in the county who wants to get vaccinated should be able to be by late spring.
Residents of Placer County can sign up for text alerts through 2-1-1. As of Tuesday, just 3.3% of Californians are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.