Solano Co. 1st in Bay Area to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those over 50, here's how

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ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Solano Co. 1st in Bay Area to expand vaccine eligibility to 50+
While many counties are having trouble vaccinating everyone who is eligible, Solano County is moving through the tiers more quickly, and can now vaccinate those in the 50-64 age group.

SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- While some counties and vaccine sites in the Bay Area have had to cut back, or limit people to second doses, Solano County has been able to move in the opposite direction, suddenly announcing that the next age group, 50 to 64 is now eligible to make an appointment.

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61-year-old Melinda Nestlerode and her husband thought they'd have to wait weeks longer before getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but instead she was able to make an appointment at the Solano County Fairgrounds just two days ago.

"A friend had sent me an email saying they just went to 50," said Nestlerode. "We've been waiting for a long time. We feel like once we're fully vaccinated, a weight will be lifted off of our shoulders and I can go see my mother at her senior living complex."

County health officials moved to the next age group after realizing many of their appointments at sites like the fairgrounds, a multi-agency effort, were going unfilled.

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"How we were able to do it is we have the really good fortune of having exceptionally good relationships with our hospital providers," said Dr. Bela Matyas M.D., Solano County's Health Officer, "and over the past month we've been able to vaccinate tens of thousands of people each weekend and with that, we've been able to move through the tiers much more quickly."

The fairgrounds site can quickly ramp up to 6,000 shots per day seven days a week, once supply is robust enough to support it.

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"Today we're hoping for 4000," said Dr. Eric Au, with Kaiser Permanente, one of the primary partners at the site. "We've tweaked it, just continuously. And we continue to make refinements. It's about really safety first, customer service and through put."

Those receiving the shot here say it's not only quick and easy, it's also a huge relief.

"Today is the day I've been waiting for to have this sense of peace that hasn't been here in so long," said Solano County resident Keauna Ayer.

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