STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency will be closing down mass vaccination sites throughout the county.
Public health experts say the bigger sites are no longer needed because they say the vaccine is more widely available from numerous providers.
“Our agency is looking into is expanding on the mobile vaccination plan,” said Health Services Agency spokeswoman Kamlesh Kaur.
Kaur said mass clinic sites in Oakdale, Patterson and Modesto were already scheduled to end May 31.
The Modesto Centre Plaza and other locations will transition back to their intended purposes since more events and gatherings are returning as the state moves toward full reopening.
“Some of these sites are also senior centers, and they are planning to open it back up so the senior residents of our community can go back to participating in some of the activities, allowable activities in the current tiers,” Kaur told FOX40.
Kaur said the mass vaccination sites were needed when the county was the only vaccine provider. But now that shots are more widely available and fewer people are showing up to the bigger clinics, health officials say it’s time for the county to have a more focused approach.
“With our mobile vaccine clinics we will be able to target neighborhoods where we have seen lower vaccination rates,” Kaur explained.
The county plans to work with community advocates to set up smaller clinics at more convenient locations in the areas most impacted by the virus.
“We’re also hoping to partner with more faith-based organizations as well,” Kaur said. “They are a pillar of trust in our community. So, we will be reaching out to them as well to see how can we partner and spread the message that, you know, vaccinating, getting vaccinated is helpful, safe and efficient.”
While the county’s vaccine approach is shifting, Kaur said the goal of getting people vaccinated remains the same.
“Phasing out these clinics is not an indicator that we are out of the woods of this pandemic,” she said. “We absolutely encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”
According to the county, there are currently no plans to shut down the mass vaccination site at Stanislaus State. However, the Oakdale location is no longer providing first doses. Anyone scheduled for their second shot will receive them before that location is closed.