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Sacramento County hopes to see vaccine distribution for general public by spring

As more doses come in, more people will qualify either by age, occupation, or health conditions to get vaccinated.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Public health experts are trying to do the most good they can with the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine coming in.

The first doses are being set aside for people in places like hospitals and nursing homes, and as more doses come in, more people will qualify either by age, occupation, or health conditions.

“Right now, we have a huge demand, much more than the vaccine that is coming in,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer.

When it comes to a rollout for the general public, Dr. Kasirye said the county is hoping to get to that point by spring.

For now, the focus is on making sure that the county gets through the initial batch of vaccinations and that the people with higher risk are covered first. Afterward, they'll look toward increasing outreach.

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“Right now, we’re just dealing with healthcare providers, but as we go further in, we do need to be able to do more outreach. So definitely media will be important for us to be able to get messages out,” she said.

However, vaccination for the general population might not be as straightforward as walking into the pharmacy. With limited vaccination and a second dose needed for the currently approved vaccines, people will have to register, Dr. Kasirye said.

According to the CDC, side effects for the COVID-19 vaccine include pain and swelling on the arm along with fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. Dr. Kasirye said the side effects that she’s seen so far are “nothing to worry about.”

“So far, people have had very mild side effects such as just a sore arm but nothing major and nothing to worry about and nothing different from the kinds of effects seen with just the regular vaccinations,” she said.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, click HERE.

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