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'Still need to be concerned' | COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends

COVID-19 rapid home test kits and vaccinations are still available for free while supplies last

STOCKTON, Calif. — 59-year-old Brenda Gomez, of Stockton, is a retired restaurant manager who says she's never gotten COVID-19.

She's been vaccinated and boosted and has her card to prove it.

"I had the Moderna twice, and got the booster three times just to be safe because I didn't want to die," said Gomez.

To date, 1,127,928 million people have died in the U.S. from COVID, including over 101,886 deaths in California. But with the federal "Public Health Emergency" ending, states will no longer be required to report data to the federal government.

However, it doesn't mean COVID has gone away.

"We do still need to be concerned about those who are still at risk for getting complications. Again, we really emphasize those who want to get vaccines and boosters to be able to go get them," said Daniel Kim, spokesperson for San Joaquin County Public Health.

In San Joaquin County, there are still four, so-called, low barrier COVID test-to-treat sites. The county also still offers free COVID rapid home tests.

ABC10 reached out to several counties for their plans, but not every county returned the inquiry.

In Placer County, a spokesperson says vaccine clinics will continue to be free of charge regardless of insurance status.

Yolo County says vaccines and test kits will remain available while supplies last. It's the same as San Joaquin County.

"While we won't be able to get more, we do have a good supply that we still have available for those who need to pick it up," said Daniel Kim.

For the uninsured, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department is offering it's "HHS Bridge Access Program for COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments." It will offer free COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments through December 2024.

Even though she feels protected, Brenda Gomez carries several masks as added insurance against COVID-19

"You have to because you never know whose going to be around that's not vaccinated," said Gomez.

The Federal Drug Administration will meet next month to discuss the composition of the COVID-19 vaccines for this fall.


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