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San Joaquin, Stanislaus 'holding on to optimism' with forward look on vaccine supplies

Some extra federal help is assisting the vaccination effort in Stanislaus County.

STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif — There hasn’t been much change in vaccine supply for Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, even as officials say the state is changing up their allocations. That being said, some extra federal help is on the way.

OptumServe, a federal health business, is pivoting from testing to vaccinations in some counties. One of those sites is in Stanislaus County.

The West Modesto site is doing a soft opening, but once it gets into full swing, it'll be able to do roughly 400 vaccinations a day. In contrast to the county's walk-in clinics, the OptumServe clinics will let you use California's My Turn website to set up an appointment.

With OptumServe jumping into the vaccination game, it's about 2,100 more vaccine doses for the county. However, Stanislaus County won't have control over them.

In a Tuesday board meeting, San Joaquin County officials said they were also in conversations with OptumServe for vaccination services. 

Both counties are also part of the initial Blue Shield rollout, but the implementation has been delayed. An inquiry to San Joaquin County about the delay was not returned, and Stanislaus County told ABC10 over the weekend that a reason was not given to them.

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Until that transition happens, it's business as usual in Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County.

Both counties are coming off a week where storms in other states impacted deliveries of their vaccine supply. San Joaquin County is expecting more vaccines this week, specifically their 1st and 2nd doses of the Moderna vaccine from last week and their vaccine shipment for the current week. 

During a Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting, Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer, said the county had a full schedule of vaccine events for the week. They expect to keep making more events as more vaccine comes in.

“Going into next week, the schedule’s not so packed, but things are continually getting scheduled and as long as we continue to receive vaccine from the state, we’ll continue to try to have these events go on,” she said at the board meeting.

For Stanislaus County, they’re doing a bit of catch-up, using today’s vaccine clinics to help finish off the missed 2nd doses from Monday.

Notably, the two agriculture-heavy counties could expect some supply increases with a change to their allocations from the state. Specifically, officials in both counties are expecting that 70% of their future allocations will be based on the senior population and the other 30% on the other sectors, which would include school employees, emergency services and agriculture workers.

“Until we see definite allocation info, we are holding on to the optimism,” said Kamlesh Kaur, Stanislaus County Public Health spokesperson, in a text message to ABC10. “We have been hearing about more vaccines for a couple weeks but nothing has changed.”

During a Monday press event in Kern County, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the Central Valley as a whole will see a 58% increase in vaccine doses starting this week.

For more information on vaccines in Stanislaus County, click HERE. For more information on vaccines in San Joaquin County, click HERE.

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