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California clinics: More vaccines going to rich than at-risk | COVID-19 Updates in Northern California

Community health centers say they've watched as initial shipments of the coronavirus vaccine went to larger hospitals, leaving their high-risk patients to wait.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — ABC10 is following the latest coronavirus statistics and vaccine news for the Sacramento region and the state of California. 

This blog will be updated throughout the day with the latest COVID-19 news. Click HERE to learn when and where you can sign-up to get the coronavirus vaccine near you.

Updates from Monday, March 1, can be found here.

California clinics: More vaccines going to rich than at-risk

California's governor says a commitment to equity is driving his administration's centralized approach to vaccinating residents. But community health centers say they've watched as initial shipments of the coronavirus vaccine went to larger hospitals, leaving their high-risk patients to wait. 

Community health centers in California care for the more than 7 million largely low-income people whom Gov. Gavin Newsom and others say they want to reach. The centers are in areas with higher concentrations of poverty and fewer providers who take Medicaid. 

Dr. Efrain Talamantes is chief operating officer for AltaMed Health Services, in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He says his patients and staff are often an afterthought despite the emphasis on equity.

Sierra County Public Health now scheduling vaccine appointments for all residents over 18

All Sierra County residents, over the age of 18, can now schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment with the county's public health department, according to the sheriff's office.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Sierra County Sheriff's Office said the vaccine appointments will be available to all Sierra County residents 18 and older, but residents must contact Sierra County Public Health (SCPH) before March 9, if interested. 

Limited after-hours and Saturday appointments are available.

According to the sheriff's office's post, residents will need to provide their name, date of birth, age, occupation, phone number, email address and the community they live in to schedule an appointment.

For more information, visit the Sierra County website here

Sutter Health canceling appointments for second doses

Because of recent supply issues, Sutter Health has had to cancel second dose appointments for patients through March 9. 

According to a statement provided by a Sutter spokesperson, "supply issues and insufficient vaccine allocation" resulted in the healthcare provider pausing first COVID-19 vaccine dose appointments in early February. 

"As a result of continued allocation issues, we are in the process of notifying patients with second dose appointments scheduled through March 9 to let them know that their current appointment needs to be canceled due to insufficient supply, and we will call them in 7-10 days to reschedule," Sutter Health said in a statement. 

Currently, Sutter Health has 90,000 appointments and is hoping it receives additional vaccine doses to prevent canceling more appointments.  

This is an extremely unfortunate situation for our patients, and one that is avoidable if we can get additional vaccine supply," Sutter Health said to end its statement.

El Dorado County moves to red tier

One county in the Sacramento region has moved to a less restrictive tier Tuesday afternoon. 

El Dorado County was one of several counties to move to less restrictive tiers, which allows the county to open indoor dining options, gyms and movie theaters.

In total, seven counties in California moved tiers, according to ABC7 in the Bay Area, including: El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Napa, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara.

Several counties in the San Francisco Bay Area issued a strict-stay-at-home order nearly a year ago, in advance of a statewide shutdown. Public health officials in the Bay Area for the most part have been more cautious than peers in southern California and in other states about reopening the economy.

RELATED: What it means to be in the 'red tier' in California

State releases latest COVID-19 statistics

On Tuesday, the state of California announced a state total of 3,481,611 confirmed cases of COVID-19. California reported 303 new deaths from COVID, bringing the total to more than 52,497 since the start of the pandemic.

The state reported at least 9,313,799 vaccine doses had been administered to Californians.

Colusa County to provide vaccines based on age, not occupation

COVID-19 vaccine allocation in Colusa County will take a different approach from most of the rest of the state. The county said in a press release that eligibility will be based on age, regardless of occupation. Vaccine appointments can also be made using a new online platform. 

"This adjustment will reduce confusion, and allow for a more organized, equitable distribution of vaccine to those most at risk," Colusa County said in the press release. 

The first vaccine clinic in the county is scheduled for Wednesday and is only open to those aged 65 and older. The county said 170 appointments are available as of Tuesday morning. 

Counties expected to move tiers today

Last week, Yolo County was one of several counties that moved from the purple tier to the less restrictive red tier. 

Today, eight more counties could move tiers. The only county in the Sacramento Region that fits the bill is El Dorado County. The other counties include: Lassen, Modoc, Napa, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara and Sierra counties. 

To move to the red tier, counties need to maintain an adjusted seven-day average case rate of less than seven and a positivity rate of less than 8% for two consecutive weeks. Counties with a positivity rate of less than 5% and a health equity positivity rate of less than 5.2%  for two consecutive weeks could also move to the red tier, according to the state's guidelines.

The state usually announces tier updates around noon. This story will be updated once the state makes an announcement. 

Pandemic fuels attacks on health workers

A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley’s Human Rights Center has identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year. 

The report says about 400 of those attacks were linked to the coronavirus, underscoring the dangers surrounding health care workers at a time when they are needed most. Researchers saw the most attacks last spring and summer as the coronavirus swept across the globe. Yet recent events in Nigeria, where two nurses were attacked last month, and the Netherlands, where rioters in January set fire to a coronavirus testing center, prove the threat remains.

Resources guide for California families

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