At the Riverside County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, March 23, staff remained optimistic as local health officials presented the latest on the vaccine roll out.
This week, the county data included some good news.
“We seem to be shifting a little bit in that previously we had an under supply of vaccine compared to the demand. Presently, we actually have more appointment slots than we have demand,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, the Health Officer for Riverside County.
The county’s focus now turns to getting more people registered.
To address the issue, Dr. Leung with Riverside Health says vaccine eligibility has expanded to groups like disaster service workers, janitors and utility workers.
“We believe at least half of individuals in Riverside County currently qualify to receive the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Leung.
But while more groups qualify for the vaccine, county supervisor Jeff Hewitt says he wants to make sure members of the at-risk age group that have yet to be vaccinated aren’t forgotten.
Currently, only 38 percent of residents 65 and older have received both doses.
“That’s going to be a little harder. It’s going to be flushing out to make sure these people get that. Even if we have to drive out to give it to them that’s what we need to do,” said supervisor Hewitt.
In total, officials say 10 percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated, and the state expects everyone to be eligible by the end of April.
“We’re anticipating that within five-and-a-half weeks we can eliminate all of the tiering,” said Gov. Newsom.
But while the tier system remains, Riverside County inches closer to improving to the orange or moderate phase.
Currently, the only metric holding the county back is case rate.
That number is currently at 4.8 per 100 thousand residents and needs to drop to 3.9 to qualify.
Officials believe that threshold can be hit in the next few weeks, peeling back even more restrictions for local businesses.
“Each one we get over the bar, in that respect, we’re that much closer to where we want to be,” said supervisor Hewitt.