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Nevada County opens new vaccine clinic as COVID-19 cases remain higher than neighboring counties

The county says higher numbers are being traced to a younger demographic than at the start of the pandemic.

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. — A new vaccine clinic opened up on Tuesday at Sierra College's Grass Valley Campus in Nevada County.

Health officials in Nevada County are concerned not just with the number of cases its seeing but the demographic contributing to it.

The latest data from the state shows the seven-day average of cases per 100,000 residents is at 9.8. Nearby, Placer County is at 6.5, Sacramento County is at 7.3 and San Joaquin is at 8.1.

Nevada County Health and Human Services Director Ryan Gruver says that the higher number of cases is being traced to a young demographic who is likely gathering unsafely.

Gruver says that at the beginning of the pandemic, around 20% of their COVID cases were in people 65 and up. That number, he says, has since dropped to between 5% and 10%.

Gruver says that is a sign that vaccines are working and is why the county is urging more Nevada County residents to get vaccinated, something Gruver says can be a challenge due to vaccine hesitancy.

“Nevada County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state in normal times. So vaccine hesitancy and vaccine rejection are concepts that we're very familiar with in Nevada County,” Gruver said. “It's something we're looking closely at, working with a variety of resources to try to identify exactly where the hesitancy is coming from, when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.”

More than 72,000 vaccines have been administered in Nevada County.

For those unsure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Gruver had this to say:

“If you are supportive of vaccines generally, and you're just holding off because of the COVID 19 vaccine being new, it's now been administered to millions upon millions of people with very, very few side effects. It's a highly safe and effective vaccine. If you're on the fence, now's the time to get off the fence.”

The Sierra College Grass Valley vaccine clinic runs Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find out more visit the MyTurn.ca.gov or call 1-833-422-4255.

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