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

SOLOANO 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.

VACCINE TRACKER: Here's how CA is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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.

VIDEO: Here's what's causing rare, delayed allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccine
EMBED More News Videos

As millions get vaccinated, doctors are noticing patients with allergies or delayed reactions to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. What's causing it? Medical experts explain their findings and say these reactions are temporary.



"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.

RELATED: Dr. Cody reflects on tough decisions during COVID-19, response to pandemic

"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.


Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window. RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.