By Elizabeth Sanchez, South Kern Sol
(Bakersfield, Ca. May 25th, 2021)- Since COVID-19 vaccines became available to Kern County adolescents nearly two weeks ago, 7 percent of Kern’s adolescents have become vaccinated, health officials said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
To help get this information regarding eligibility of children between the ages of 12 to 15 years old, Kern County Public Health has partnered with local high schools, junior high schools and elementary schools, according to Brynn Carrigan, the director of Kern Public Health. Some school sites have even held vaccination clinics for their students and families.
Since the vaccine became eligible to this age group, Kern Public Health saw an increase in first doses administered to Kern residents, “meaning a higher number of Kern residents began vaccination series the week prior,” Carrigan said.
With this new eligible group, Kern has fully vaccinated 27 percent of the County’s population — or 35 percent of Kern’s eligible population. Another 64,511 people have started their vaccination series.
“(This means) 44 percent of Kern’s eligible population is either partially or fully vaccinated,” said Carrigan.
Based on the rate Kern County has been vaccinating the eligible population, it will take 68 weeks to fully vaccinate the rest of the eligible population, Carrigan told the Kern County Board of Supervisors.
Carrigan also announced Kern County remains in the Orange Tier for the seventh week in a row. The earliest Kern can move into the yellow tier is June 9 — just six days before Newsom retired the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
“We are seeing an improvement in our overall metrics,” said Carrigan.
Kern’s hospitalizations have remained stable, and Kern’s case rate is 2.6 percent per 100,000 people, which is down from last week. Kern’s testing positivity rate is at 1.5 percent, which is also down from last week.
The Kern County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Clinic offers Pfizer vaccine from the comfort of your car. The clinic operates Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30am to 4pm. Appointments can be made at www.MyTurn.ca.gov but are not required. Other vaccinating providers are available throughout the community and can be found on the Vaccinating Providers Map at https://phweb.kerncounty.com/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=COVID19Vaccination#.