Hartnell College nursing student Evelyn Batiste administers the Covid-19 vaccine March 20 at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City. (Sean Roney/Staff)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Reopening blueprint metrics have Monterey County in the Orange Tier, but the vaccination rates continue to climb.

County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno said on April 14 that 48% of the county’s populace age 16 and older have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. On Monday, that percentage rose to 54%.

The bump in vaccination rates coincides with the April 15 eligibility expansion to all individuals age 16 and older, as well as numerous mass vaccine clinics around the county.

“I encourage everyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated to schedule an appointment and if people are having difficulty, ask a friend or family member to help,” Moreno said.

For those who are still struggling to make an appointment, Moreno recommended calling the 211 assistance line. For those who want to seek out a vaccine within the state’s allocation system, he said they can contact 833-422-4255 to schedule an appointment.

With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine having been removed from clinic use in the state due to issue with blood clots, Moreno said the county, state and federal government are watching for recipients of that vaccine who may exhibit onset of symptoms of blood clots, known as venous thrombosis, even weeks after receiving the vaccine.

In regard to the reopening blueprint, Moreno said the metrics have Monterey County in the Orange Tier based on infection rates and test positivity rates.

“Monterey County would need to be in the Orange Tier for three consecutive weeks and meet the Yellow Tier criteria for three consecutive weeks before moving to the Yellow Tier,” Moreno explained. “In order to keep our case rates down, we still have to take measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

Prevention measures, Moreno noted, were the familiar ones: wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, avoiding gatherings, maintaining social distancing, getting vaccinated when eligible and getting tested when in contact with someone who has Covid-19.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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