Over 40K vaccine doses given to Nevada County residents
Special to the Sierra Sun
As of Wednesday, 40,422 vaccine doses have been administered to Nevada County residents, according to the state COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.
“Forty thousand is the number of flu vaccines that are typically administered in Nevada County through the entire year, through the entire health care system,” Nevada County Director of Health and Human Services Ryan Gruver said Wednesday in a Q&A, giving context to the milestone.
“In three and a half months, using basically 10 providers, we’ve already done what is typically done in a whole year of flu vaccines, so I think we need to acknowledge the work that the health care system — our providers and our team — has done,” said Gruver.
On the state’s contracted third party vaccine rollout administrator, Blue Shield, Gruver said, “I think they’re eager and want to do a good job onboarding as many providers as they can.” He added, however, that the process is “a big shift.”
“All providers are being asked to onboard into the MyTurn system, they’re being asked to sign this agreement that has certain provisions about what they have to do and who they have to serve, so there are definitely some growing pains with that,” Gruver explained.
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with the state, opting to do so rather than contract directly with Blue Shield.
According to the memorandum, however, “all providers in the statewide vaccinator network will reasonably cooperate with the (third party administrator) in facilitating efficient administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
He also pointed out that the county did not truly have “an option” in sticking with the state on this matter.
“The choice wasn’t between continue doing what we’re doing and go with the state. The choice was between go with the state or stop receiving vaccine,” said Gruver. “So, this isn’t an option, to not go with the (third party administrator).”
Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann described the current workload of vaccine administration for local providers as “asking a lot,” adding the logistics of immunization to all of their normal duties, using only their existing staff.
“They’re willing to do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because it’s where their heart is. If you want to take care of a patient population, you have to keep them healthy,” said Kellermann.
“But we find that nerves are frayed, the staff have been really exhausted from all this, and what (Gruver) said, the challenge throwing in this third party administrator,” he said, adding that direct, individual outreach on his part has worked best in this area as opposed to contact through an insurance company.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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