Despite a slower than anticipated rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, San Bernardino County is doing better than the state average for administering the immunization so far.
“To date, we have approximately vaccinated, about 45 percent of our allocation," said Arrowhead Regional Medical Center CEO Andrew Goldfrach. "In comparison, the state is seeing about 30 percent.”
San Bernardino County has received around 68,000 vaccine doses as of January 4, and it is following the state’s suggested phased tiers for vaccination. The current round includes healthcare workers, nursing homes and medical first responders like paramedics and fire departments. The state has asked the county to finish this tier by January 14, but it will likely take until January 20.
As the vaccine rollout continues, a new more contagious strain of the virus showed up in the county last week. County Public Health Director Corwin Porter said the county is confident in the science that says the vaccine will be effective against it.
“Even though this new strain is anticipated to be a little more infectious, there’s no indication that the vaccine is not as effective [against] any other strains," said Porter. "There’s multiple strains out there.”
County CEO Leonard Hernandez says the next step is to continue working with the board of supervisors and city managers to finalize public and private partnerships for widespread vaccination. That work will include setting the locations of vaccination sites, creating mobile units for those unable to travel to those locations, and organizing a bi-lingual public information campaign on the vaccine.