After nearly two months of vaccinating Kern residents, less than 10 percent of the Kern population is fully vaccinated, Kern County Public Health officials announced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting
As of Monday, 8.2 percent of Kern’s population has become full vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Brynn Carrigan, the Kern County Public Health Director. This means 75,509 people have completed both the first and second doses of vaccines, and 230,164 doses in total have been administered to Kern County residents.
Additionally, 1,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were allocated to the clinic at Bakersfield College this weekend. Kern continues to advocate for more vaccines. Specifically, Kern Public Health hopes there will be a continued increase of the Johnson Johnson vaccine as it helps increase the number of residents vaccinated at a faster rate states, Carrigan.
Kern County will also be placing vaccination information booths across Kern County in areas that residents frequently visit to help educate the public about the COVID-19 vaccines. Bilingual nurses will be stationed at these booths to answer any vaccine-related questions and may assist residents to make an appointment on the MyTurn system for vaccination. This weekend, the booth locations will be held in Bakersfield Mecardo Latino and Swap Meet, as well as the Wasco Fiesta Market.
Public Health officials announced last week that Kern County reported the first variant B.117 of COVID-19. This variant was firs detected in the United Kingdom. As of March 19th, 471 cases of this new variant have been identified in California.
The CDC reported that the new variant is more easily transmitted than the original strain of the COVID-19. The United Kingdom Advisory group also advised that the B.117 variant increases the likelihood of hospitalization and death.
Carrigan reported that current studies show that the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccines may recognize and provide protection against the new variant. Therefore, Kern County residents should be vigilant with COVID-19 precautions, states Carrigan.
The Covid 19 indoor vaccination facility at the Kern County Fair Grounds has been operating but an outdoor drive through facility has been built at the Fair Grounds and will greatly increase the capacity to vaccinate when it opens.
Currently a walk up indoor site is serving to vaccinate people at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Photos by Freelance photojournalist, Henry A. Barrios for Kern Sol News