Lompoc Valley Medical Center begins vaccinating residents 75 years or older

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 22:44:34-05

Following Wednesday's announcement that those 65 and older can get vaccinated in California, local health departments are now must determine whether they can make that happen.

One medical group has already started handing out some vaccines to the public.

Lompoc Valley Medical Center is now vaccinating residents who are 75 years and older. It was a decision health officials made after they noticed they still had vaccines left after their first phase of inoculations.

"We had a little bit leftover so, you know, the point is it can sit there for the next health care worker who comes in two weeks from now or we can use it,” Lompoc Medical Center Chief Operations Officer Naishadh D. Buch said.

After vaccinating all Lompoc-area frontline workers and long-time care facility residents, Lompoc Valley Medical Center officials say they decided to use what they had left.

Buch said it was a decision that had to be made in order to take care of the more vulnerable population in town.

"The plan actually is to do approximately 250 a day and that was all based off of capacity on the space that we are working with,” Buch said.

On Wednesday, California announced it would be allowing residents who 65 and up to start getting vaccinated instead of the original plan of 75 years and older.

Something counties like San Luis Obispo say won’t be possible due to the lack of available doses.

"Our task force in agreement with our public health decision-makers have decided to only move forward with the age 75 plus,” SLO County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said.

Lompoc Valley Medical said they, too, cannot vaccinate those under the age of 75 at this time.

"So the state can say one thing but it comes down to some counties might not even be going to 75, they might only still have enough for their healthcare workers so I think it's all situational, so for now, we are sticking to 75,” Buch said.

Lompoc Valley Medical Center says it is only taking residents who fit in the 75-plus category who have an appointment and have been referred by their primary doctor.

They will be vaccinating residents with appointments seven days a week and will be notifying eligible patients.

They ask that people do not call the medical center or hospital at this time to make appointments.