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Dear Valued Third District Residents,

I hope you are all staying safe as we get through this next phase of the pandemic. The County has been vaccinating our seniors (65+ years old), who have moved into the current Phase 1A status. My office has received emails from seniors who are frustrated with the performance of this new technology, a system that is bogged down with sky-high demand and limited supply. I share this frustration with you. 

Orange County must request vaccines from the state; OC makes those requests weekly, if not more. Please be assured the County is administering its portion of vaccines as fast as possible for seniors wanting the vaccine.

The County got ~20% of the vaccine allocation; 80% of the vaccines from the state went to private providers and hospitals, so please also check with your health care provider, local hospitals, and ambulance companies.  The County is requesting the state send us more vaccines ASAP.

OC Health Care Agency has created the Othena.com website, and this past week, it registered more than 104 million hits. To date, over 256,000 people have been registered through Othena, with an average of 12,000 registrations per hour. Due to high demand, the site only books 3 days out as we have more arms than vaccines at the moment. (I've heard from constituents that the desktop version worked better than the mobile app.)

Please do not give up trying to sign up for a vaccine. We hope the state releases more shots to us, making the process easier for everyone.

Right now, the Orange County Health Care Agency is working with Othena's team, ensuring issues are ironed out as they arise. My office has requested an accessible support team is made available to the public. If you are facing specific technical issues, for now, please send any supporting screenshots and documentation to eteam@ochca.com, so the Health Care Agency can forward them to Othena's technicians.  

The OC Health Care Agency is working diligently to create more sites with more resources available soon. Please see the Othena Q+A from our Health Care Agency in this email. I will also provide updates as soon as they are available. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this together. 


Stay tuned and stay safe, 

Othena Q+A from the OC Health Care Agency:

What is Othena?

The Othena.com site is where interested individuals can register for vaccinations and schedule appointments. To continue their journey with a richer experience, individuals can then download the free Othena app on their smartphones. The app can remind individuals of their appointment day, allow them to reschedule, scan a quick reader (QR) code to check-in and provide wait-time estimates. You can also try to access your account from a desktop.

Who can make appointments through Othena?

Currently, individuals in the Phase 1A classification (all tiers). In addition, those who work as first responders in high-risk communities, or who are 65 years of age or over can register and schedule appointments at www.Othena.com I was not able to get an appointment through Othena.

Can I just go to a County Super Point-of-Dispensing (POD) site to get vaccinated?

No. Vaccinations are by appointment only and anyone showing up without an appointment will be turned away. As additional supplies of vaccine become available, additional appointments will become available and eligibility will open up to other groups. Arriving more than 15 minutes beforehand will not change when you will receive a vaccine.

How is the County prioritizing who receives vaccinations?

The County is prioritizing vaccinations per State guidelines, serving high-risk populations first to reduce mortality rates and open up critical care service availability. Currently, vaccine appointments can be scheduled for individuals under Phase 1A (all tiers), first responders working in high-risk communities and residents 65 years of age and older. How do I find out when I can get vaccinated? Vaccines are being given to the public in a phased, tiered approach. To view a list of tiers of individuals who can receive a vaccine, visit www.COVIDVaccineFacts.com

How can I access the Othena app?

Once you have successfully registered at Othena.com, you can download the smartphone app from the Othena website, or through the Apple store for iPhones.

How can people without Internet access register for vaccination?

People with accessibility issues are encouraged to seek assistance in registering with Othena. The County is also working to establish resources to assist with scheduling with community partners to establish call centers to assist people who do not have internet access. This process is still in the planning stages and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

For individuals who received the first dose of the vaccine, how will they receive the second dose?

Individuals receive vaccine cards listing the lot number and manufacturer of the first dose received (Moderna or Pfizer) and the lot number. The original vaccine medication will be confirmed during the scheduling of second doses, and vaccine cards are verified on-site when the second dose is administered. In addition to making an appointment for your primary vaccine, Othena will ensure you receive the correct second dose at the correct time.

Why is it taking so long to get an appointment in Othena?

Appointments are available through Othena based on vaccine availability. The County is requesting additional vaccines at the state level to exponentially expand access. Additional appointment slots in Othena will open as more doses become available.

When will Othena be available in multiple languages?

The County is actively working to provide translations in County threshold languages. Where are vaccines being distributed? There is an extremely high demand to receive the COVID vaccine. The County is working with Orange County fire services, cities, and other community partners to establish vaccine Super POD sites to meet demand. The County continues to receive vaccine supplies, appropriately allocated among traditional healthcare providers (hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) and Point-of-Dispensing (POD) sites.

What do I need to get vaccinated?

Individuals must register online at Othena.com to indicate their interest in getting vaccinated and to schedule an appointment. Individuals must have an appointment and must show identification and documentation of eligibility at the site to receive a vaccination. No payment or insurance information is required to get vaccinated. For those who do not have Internet access, the County is working with community partners to establish call centers to assist seniors without internet access. This process is still in the planning stages and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Do senior citizens have to go to the Disneyland Super POD to get vaccinated?

Individuals 65 years of age or older have the option of getting vaccinated at a Super POD site or at alternate sites specifically assisting this population. Information about senior outreach and these senior-friendly locations will be available soon.

When will everyone in Orange County receive the vaccine?

The County of Orange, together with the Orange County fire services, has launched an effort named ‘Operation Independence’ to complete all Orange County vaccinations by July 4, 2021. Who is administering the vaccines? County of Orange, Orange County fire services personnel, volunteer healthcare professionals, and local government volunteers (county and city employees) are administering the vaccines.
GET OUT THE VACCINE 
Thanks for reading! 
Supervisor Don Wagner is proud to represent nearly 600,000 diverse residents in the communities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, Orange, the unincorporated canyons, and Yorba Linda. Team Wagner is honored to serve you. 
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Our mailing address is:

OC BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
THIRD DISTRICT
333 W. SANTA ANA BLVD
SANTA ANA, CA 92701

Office number: 
(714) 834-3330

Questions or comments about this newsletter?
Please contact Communications Director Rachel Lurya:
rachel.lurya@ocgov.com

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