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Why there seems to be a lag with vaccine rollout in Riverside County compared to other regions

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Riverside County has held vaccine clinics at random sites across the county, including 2 recently at the Indio Fairgrounds. Vaccines were administered at the site on Sunday and Monday, while the location regularly holds COVID-19 testing from Tuesday through Saturday.

Those who are qualified to receive the vaccine include doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, laboratory workers, dental and oral health clinic staff, dialysis center staff and more.

The setup, however, has been slower compared to surrounding counties in Southern California.

"We’re also watching what other jurisdictions are doing; trying to learn from what other jurisdictions have rolled out and been successful with," said Riverside County Emergency Management Department spokesperson, Shane Reichardt.

Over the weekend Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's office announced "that COVID-19 testing operations at Dodger Stadium will end Monday" and that the site would be reopen on Friday as a repurposed vaccination site. Mayor Garcetti added that the site would enable 12,000 people to be vaccinated per day.

Hundreds of healthcare workers lined up in Anaheim to receive their vaccines on Friday. So far, there are 3 Orange County mass vaccination sites set up in Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Irvine.

On Monday an appointment-only 'super site' opened in San Diego County with a goal to vaccinate up to 5,000 healthcare workers a day.

“We are expecting a very large shipment of vaccine today which should be able to take us through the week and we’ll continue to work with the state for shipments to the county to meet the community’s needs," said San Diego County Chief Nursing Officer, Denise Foster.

"There are a lot of reasons why it's hard to compare Riverside County to the other counties. One, geographically the shape of the state of Tennessee and our east county is very different than our west county. So we do have to take things into consideration that other counties that maybe are more centralized don't have to deal with," said Reichardt.

Orange County has been working with a company called CURA Patient to rollout the Othena app, allowing residents to schedule a vaccination appointment.

"Whether or not we do something like an app, it’s going to depend on what we’re able to turn around. Obviously those kinds of things take time to develop and I couldn’t tell you if that’s something you’re going to see in Riverside County," said Reichardt.

Last week the county held a single-day vaccine clinic in Riverside and another in Thousand Palms. So far various sites have been organize, but there have been no set locations designated for recurring vaccinations.

"There’s a lot of other logistics and wrap-around services that are part of scheduling a vaccination clinic so they want to make sure that all the pieces are in place so that they don’t prematurely schedule something and have something go wrong and have to postpone it," said Reichardt.

You must also schedule an appointment here: https://www.ruhealth.org/covid-19-vaccine

County officials plan said there will be more sites made available soon, but it wasn't clear when that would be.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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