Kern County’s mass vaccination site located at the Kern County Fairgrounds is set to shut down due to a decrease in demand for COVID-19 vaccines, Kern Public Health officials told the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.
During the site’s busiest time, County health workers administered as much as 10,000 vaccines per week; however, currently, they are administering less than 1,500 vaccines a week, according to Brynn Carrigan, the Director of Kern Public Health. Since the site opened in January, health workers have administered a total of 87,667 doses of the vaccine at the Fairgrounds.
“The fairgrounds mass vaccination clinic has been such an efficient and effective way to administer vaccinations to a large number of people quickly,” Carrigan said.
In January, County officials said their goal was to vaccinate 920,000 people in Kern county twice, according to Tom Beckett, the Technology Services Manager at Kern County Public Health. This includes the goal of eventually administering 5,000 vaccines a day at the mass vaccination site 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.
Kern Public Health will move its vaccination operations to the Public Health building on Mount Vernon Avenue beginning July 5. Carrigan said this will allow the department to deploy more nursing teams with mobile vaccination clinics located in neighborhoods around Kern County.
Should demand for COVID-19 vaccines increase beyond the capacity of the Public Health building, the Fairgrounds will be available to expand operations again.
As of Tuesday, 45 percent of Kern’s eligible population — those 12 and older — are either partially or fully vaccinated. More than 603,000 doses have been administered to residents, with more than 288,000 having completed their vaccination series, while 54,611 people have received their first dose of the vaccine.
Public Health also noted they will not provide daily COVID-19 case updates due to a drastic decrease in cases. Instead, Public Health will provide updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
As of Monday, Kern Public Health confirmed a total of 110,799 cases of COVID-19 and 1,404 COVID-19 related deaths. On Monday, there were just 17 news cases of COVID-19.