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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Yolo County now using MyTurn for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Officials explain that county has no control over vaccine supply as winter storms delay shipments

Yolo County has now transitioned to the MyTurn website for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, according to a Yolo County press release. Prior to MyTurn, Yolo County had been using an interest form for COVID-19 vaccines, which was launched on Jan. 19. Since then, 35,000 Yolo County residents have registered in the county’s system and will need to reregister on MyTurn. 

The platform MyTurn allows California residents to register to receive a notification via email or text when they are eligible for vaccines. In the future, eligible residents will also be able to book vaccine appointments through the system. 

Yolo County Public Information Officer Jenny Tan explained that the transition to MyTurn slightly changes the process of vaccine notifications.

“MyTurn is right now only allowing people to be notified when they’re eligible, so we are asking Yolo County residents to sign up for MyTurn,” Tan said. “Previously, we had our Google [COVID-19] vaccine availability interest form that we had people sign up on, and so if they signed up for that, then we’re also asking them to sign up for MyTurn.”

Tan elaborated on how MyTurn works.

“MyTurn can only notify people right now,” Tan said. “Later on—I think in March—they’ll be able to also have an appointment feature so people can sign up for notifications and get an appointment, but right now, they don’t have that availability. After people sign up for MyTurn, we’re also asking them, for the time being, to look for our Yolo County clinics or to try to get a vaccine through their healthcare provider or through a pharmacy like CVS or Rite Aid.”

District 3 Yolo County Supervisor Gary Sandy said that he thinks Yolo County has done a good job of distributing vaccines so far. 

“I think they’ve been as well as we could expect them to, given the flood of challenges that have faced us throughout this process in terms of vaccination availability, vaccination shipping and vaccination supply,” Sandy said. “As a county, we actually cannot order and receive our own set of vaccines.”

Sandy elaborated that Yolo County has no control over how many vaccines are delivered.

“The state orders them for us—they do not inform us of how many they’re ordering, and they do not inform us of what we can expect,” Sandy said. “We are simply notified when they have a supply. And so that’s been frustrating.”

Tan added that the winter weather in parts of the country has led to a delay in shipments.

“We’re getting one to two thousand doses a week,” Tan said. “Last week, we didn’t get any doses because of the winter weather that was delaying all the shipments. So we have actually received—I think—4,000 doses this week because it’s last week’s combined with this week’s.”

Yolo County has also been collaborating with healthcare providers and UC Davis Health to share doses that can be used to vaccinate residents, Tan explained. 

Sandy expressed hope that the county will eventually achieve a “full stage” delivery of vaccines.

“On Saturday [Feb. 20], we had a large turnout in Woodland—we administered over 2,300 vaccinations, so that was encouraging,” Sandy said. 

District 2 Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor added via email that Yolo County has been allocating the scarce supply of doses to save as many lives as possible by focusing on groups with high mortality rates. 

“As more of our population is vaccinated and the rates of our community spread continue to decrease, we can slowly reopen our community to what will be our new normal,” Saylor said. “It may be some time before we are back to a mask-free lifestyle with the COVID-19 variants in our community, but we look forward to a time soon when our essential workers are vaccinated and we can safely educate students in a classroom.”

Saylor said that “the rollout of vaccinations has provided us a light at the end of the tunnel. However, we are not yet out of the tunnel.”
Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — city@theaggie.org

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