Nearly 20,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to San Joaquin County as COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions have risen statewide over the past two weeks.

Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County public health officer, told the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the state had delivered 19,450 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Over 8,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 1,600 of the Moderna vaccine have been given to health care workers and long-term care facilities. The county has approved hospitals, county clinics and community medical centers to officially administer vaccines.

Park encouraged physicians and other health care providers to apply with the state to become official “vaccinators.” That way, as vaccines are delivered in mass quantities there will be an adequate number of professionals to administer the vaccine to the public in the shortest amount of time.

Tom Patti, chair of the Board of Supervisors, wanted people to plan for the vaccine arrival.

“We need to do everything in our power to work together, mobilize assets and make plans now for not only rapid testing, but large-scale administration of vaccines in the community,” Patti said. “Just as important, we need to get the message out to San Joaquin residents that vaccines are safe, effective and basically our only chance to get our lives and livelihoods back on track. We need to do this for our businesses, our kids, our frontline and essential workers and everyone in the community and we need to do it now.”

On Tuesday the state health department reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations had risen 17% and ICU admission increased 21% over the past two weeks. The state also issued a new health order to reserve hospital services for the sickest patients. The order, to remain in effect for at least three weeks, requires that some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries be delayed in counties with 10% or less ICU capacity.

The order also requires hospitals state-wide to accept inter-facility and out-of-county patient transfers to make room in hospitals that need it.

As of Wednesday San Joaquin County reported 49, 682 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 683 deaths. There are 347 current COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county. On Tuesday there were 106 adult patients in intensive care with 76 on ventilators, the highest number since the pandemic began.

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital has 45 hospital beds in use with 21 COVID-19 patients. There are seven adult ICU beds in use with three COVID-19 patients.

The first COVID-19 vaccinations were given in Tracy in mid-December at Sutter Tracy Community Hopsital. On Jan. 5 the California Department of Health released their guidelines for the next phases of allocation of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Under Phase 1A the vaccine would go to about 3 million people at high risk for exposure to the corornavirus through their work, including health care workers and residents at long-term care facilities such as skilled nursing and assisted living homes.

After the Phase 1A recipients have been given their second vaccination, the vaccines will be distributed based on recipients risk for severe symptoms or death, or their likelihood for exposure.

Phase 1B, tier one, includes people 75-years-and-older and those who work in education, emergency services, childcare and food and agriculture. Phase 1B, tier two, include those age 65 to 74, and those working in transportation and logistics; industrial, commercial, residential and sheltering facilities, critical manufacturing, jails, prisons and homeless populations.

Phase 1C includes people 50 to 64-years-old; people with health conditions that increase their risk of a severe COVID-19 infection; and those at risk due to work in water and waste water; defense, energy, chemical and hazardous materials, communications and information technology, financial services, government operations and community based essential functions.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 209-835-3030.

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