Dr. Rachel Rees and Lindsey Totah of the Sonoma County Health Services Department receive the county's first vaccine shipment from Pfizer. (Photo courtesy of Sonoma County)

Sonoma County is taking action to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for residents aged 75 years and over by canceling all vaccination appointments for those less than 75 years old, county officials announced.

According to the county, during last week’s rollout of the OptumServe clinic in Rohnert Park, vaccination appointments were meant to prioritize residents ages 75 years and over but were equally open to residents between 65 and 75 years. Difficulties arose, though, when 85 percent of the appointments scheduled were for residents under the age of 75 due to a lack of controls and proper settings on the OptumServe scheduling site.

As a result, county officials made the decision Friday to cancel all first-dose vaccine appointments made by those younger than 75 years to prioritize the county’s oldest residents.

“The 36,000 seniors in this bracket represent our most vulnerable residents,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “They have accounted for two-thirds of all of the COVID deaths in the county. Due to our limited supply of vaccine, we are in triage mode, and we must prioritize this most at-risk group first. We don’t have time to wait.”

Residents 75 and older are encouraged to schedule a vaccination appointment through their primary health care provider. Alternatively, vaccination clinics have been set-up throughout the county.

Rohnert Park Community Center, in partnership with OptumServe, will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. People can schedule an appointment at https://myoptumserve.com/covid19 or call (877) 218-0381.

Sonoma County Fairgrounds Grace Pavilion, in partnership with Safeway, will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. People can schedule an appointment at https://mhealthsystem.com/sonomacountypublichealth.

Oakmont Berger Center, in partnership with Safeway, will be available Thursday, Friday and next Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Schedule an appointment at https://mhealthsystem.com/oakmontclinic.

Other options are West County Health Centers, Guerneville School, on Wednesday and Friday and Analy High School, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with appointments available at https://www.wchealth.org/news/covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-appointment-schedule/, and Sonoma Valley High School, in partnership with Sonoma Valley Hospital, on Friday and Sunday with appointments at https://www.sonomavalleyhospital.org/subscribe/.

Additionally, the county pledged that more clinics are planned in the near future, most likely at the Petaluma campus of Santa Rosa Junior College, at Huerta Gymnasium in Windsor, at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, and the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building.

For more information, including the latest vaccine numbers, who’s eligible for a vaccine and how to receive a vaccine, community members are encouraged to visit SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine, or call 211.