Yuba-Sutter residents 16 years and older will be eligible to get vaccinated starting April 15, according to Yuba County spokesperson Rachel Rosenbaum.

Currently, all Yuba-Sutter residents 50 and older now qualify to get vaccinated and can make an appointment at yuba.org.vaccines or suttercounty.org/vaccine.

"We expanded vaccine eligibility one week ahead of the state because we have spots still open," Rosenbaum said.

She said the Moderna, Pfizer and single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines are all being used in Yuba-Sutter, though there is a much more limited supply of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

"We hope to see that supply increased in the coming weeks, but are reliant on state and federal partners," Rosenbaum said.

All three vaccines have strong efficacy in protecting people against serious illness from COVID-19, according to Rosenbaum.

"Mass vaccination is key to our communities getting back to 'normal' in a safe manner," Rosenbaum said. "Unfortunately, right now there isn't a mechanism for residents to necessarily choose which vaccine they get, as public health gets whichever vaccine is shipped to them."

She said residents can browse public health websites to see which local health care partners and pharmacies also offer vaccines and which ones they offer. Other than the county-sponsored clinics, there are 12 sites that are offering vaccines locally.

"Doctors and scientists are confident in the safety of these vaccines," Rosenbaum said. "It can be easy to get caught up in misinformation you see online but be sure to read from good sources. Also on these county websites, you can find good information on how the vaccines received emergency-use authorization, the pathway the vaccines went through, etc."

While Sutter County was recently moved to the less restrictive red tier, Yuba County remains in the most-restrictive purple tier, but could move to the red tier next week.

"This past week has been looking good for Yuba County but remember, the state is a few weeks behind and looks at several weeks ago to determine tier eligibility," Rosenbaum said.

The public health teams are no longer following up with every single case and closed cases in the state system CalCONNECT due to other reasons than recovery. To reflect that, the online dashboard has been changed to count closed cases and open cases rather than active cases and recoveries, according to Rosenbaum.

"We have to be patient a little while longer while we build up herd immunity, and continue wearing masks in public, staying home when sick, and avoiding large social gatherings," Rosenbaum said. "We want to make sure we can coast into herd immunity without seeing a third spike of unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths."

Cases increased by 23 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 15,063. There are currently 126 open cases and 17 cases were closed on Friday. Eleven people are currently hospitalized. To date, 142 people have died from COVID-19 in Yuba-Sutter.

For more information, visit bepreparedyuba.org and bepreparedsutter.org.

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