By Debra Moore
If you are a Plumas County resident who has signed up on the Public Health Agency vaccine portal, you might be wondering how many people are there with you and when it might be your turn to receive a vaccine.
“It’s complicated,” said Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff during a Tuesday morning, March 2, interview. “There are about 3,000 people in the portal as of now, but 790 of those will receive their first dose this week.”
Achieving an accurate number is difficult, Woodruff said, because the list contains duplicates of people who might have signed up multiple times, and other people on the list who have received a dose elsewhere but haven’t removed themselves from the portal. People also are being vaccinated who aren’t on the list.
Woodruff explained that doses are being allocated according to age categories and sectors. As of now, those 65-plus are eligible, as are the education, food and ag, and emergency service sectors.
When Public Health is working with a business within a sector, people will be vaccinated that might not have signed up for the portal. “You uncover more people,” he said.
Looking ahead, Public Health is set to administer 600 second doses next week and a small number of first doses.
Each week Public Health receives an allocation and then must determine how much of the vaccine needs to be set aside for second doses, so it’s hard to plan too far in the future.
Following the 65-plus age group and current sectors, the county will move to the 16-to-64 age range with underlying health conditions. “We will have to work with our hospital partners for help in identifying those individuals,” Woodruff said. Then Woodruff suspects that the county will move down the age ranges, but is awaiting state guidance.
As this is occurring, the county will begin to pivot to the state’s MyTurn system. When asked if Plumas County residents would need to sign up for system separately or if the Public Health portal would automatically be uploaded, Woodruff said that hasn’t been determined, but that counties are advocating for a process to transfer the current data. He said that many counties told the state that they have it figured it out and actually are reluctant to move to a new system.
In the meantime Public Health will continue to call residents and alert them that it is their turn to receive a vaccine. “It’s fun to listen to my staff deliver the good news. Everyone is happy to receive that call,” Woodruff said.