MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Starting Thursday many Californians who are 50 years old or older will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, but Stanislaus County is going a step further and making the vaccine available to people 16 and older.
The stage is set for Stanislaus County to give its vaccination numbers a boost.
“I encourage everybody to take it. How else are we going to get the herd immunity,” said Stanislaus County resident Greg Forney.
Forney, a medical worker, has already received both of his vaccine shots.
He says he experienced some soreness and a mild fever, but adds he was fine a day later.
“If it’s not for you, then do it for someone else,” he said.
More people will have that chance.
“We are anticipating a lot of busy clinic hours,” said Kamlesh Kaur with Stanislaus County Public Health.
Kaur says starting Thursday the county will expand its vaccine eligibility to all county residents age 16 and older.
Kaur says this decision wasn’t because the vaccines sites sat empty, but due to the state encouraging vaccinating people living in underserved communities.
“Appointments have been filling up,” Kaur explained. “And Stanislaus County, we have 24 ZIP codes. Out of those 24, 23 actually meet that criteria, so that allowed us to open up our eligibility.”
Because of those moves, hundreds of thousands more people will become eligible for the vaccine.
“Our sites are prepared to vaccinate up to 30,000 people per week,” Kaur told FOX40.
“They recommended I use the arm I didn’t write with because it could be possibly sore,” said local business owner Juan Melgoza, who is waiting on his second vaccine shot.
Melgoza told FOX40 he has family and friends who are wary of getting the vaccine, but he hopes his experience will change their minds.
“I am hoping with faith that everything changes and it will get better. I do feel a little bit better now that I got my first shot. When I go in for my second, I know I will feel even better,” he said.
Kaur says due to a glitch people from outside the county were able to get an appointment, but they will not receive the vaccine. This new eligibility is only for Stanislaus County residents.