Riverside County rolls out more vaccines as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- It's a race against COVID-19 as Riverside County Public Health officials begin rolling out more vaccines. On Wednesday, the county made more available to healthcare workers and first responders.

"Our goal is really to vaccinate as many people as possible. We got phase-1A and all their tiers and we're trying to get the pole through the vaccination process as soon as possible so they are protected from COVID-19," Shane Reichardt with the Riverside County Emergency Management Department.

On Tuesday, an invitation was sent out to all tier 1A workers about the availability of the Moderna vaccine. In less than 24-hours, all 1,000 appointments at its two distributions sites were filled.

Since December, the number of Riverside County residents hospitalized has more than doubled. On Dec. 10, there were 755 people hospitalized with COVID-19. As of Jan. 5 1,615 are hospitalized in Riverside County.

"We are working on setting up vaccination clinics throughout Riverside County and we will continue until everybody that is looking to get vaccinated is provided a vaccination," said Reichardt.

But not all frontline workers with access to the vaccines have opted to take it. Officials say about 50% have declined to receive it.

"After reviewing the public information available, I decided to get it when it was available," said Cal-Fire Chief Dean Veik.

Meanwhile, at Riverside Community Hospital frontline workers there were given their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
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