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Ventura County health official explains decision to open vaccines to those 65 and older

VENTURA, Calif. -- Ventura County announced Tuesday morning that people 65 and older will now be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health care workers are still included, but now all seniors are too.

“We have gone through health care workers, as well as those 75 and older and we have reached over 50% of those 75 and older and feel that they have been adequately reached out to and will still have access, so now we are opening up to 65-year-olds,” said Barry Zimmerman, Chief Deputy Director of Ventura County Health Care Agency.

County experts count the number of people now eligible at almost 80,000.

“If we get roughly 10,000 vaccines to 12,000 a week,” said Zimmerman. “That will take on the upwards of 21 weeks to get through and that would be for both first and second dose.”

The county is also still trying to get caught up with distributing second doses of the vaccine.

“We have prioritized second dose appointments to be distributed and then we allow first appointment doses to be scheduled if there is capacity,” said Zimmerman.

For now, the Ventura County Fairgrounds vaccination site will be primarily for second doses and the other sites will administer first and second doses to get the county caught up.

As of Monday, over 98,000 people were vaccinated. That is the 12th largest in the State. County leaders hope to get a greater volume of vaccines by the end of the month. But for now, people 65 and older are jumping on the opportunity.

“I just looked all of the appointments are booked for this week,” said Zimmerman. “Tomorrow we will be setting up more links for the following week.”

To schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine if eligible, click here.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Lifestyle / Ventura County
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Senerey de los Santos

Senerey de los Santos is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 3-12 covering primarily Ventura County. To learn more about Senerey, click here.

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