Santa Ana, Calif– The County of Orange is proactively leading Orange County’s response to COVID-19. The next critical phase is providing the vaccine to residents in a phased, tiered approach.
“The County of Orange, together with our partners at the Orange County Fire Authority, launched ‘Operation Independence’ to help administer COVID-19 vaccinations in the county. In order to coordinate the planning for this massive undertaking, the County has created an Incident Management Team (IMT). The Operation Independence IMT will be working 7 days a week to secure locations and stand up large, regional Super Point-of-Dispensing (POD) sites that can vaccinate thousands of residents each day,” said Acting Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors Andrew Do, First District.
The County’s effort, named Operation Independence, has the objective of setting up regional vaccine points of dispensing (POD). Due to the scope and size of these PODs, based on the high demand for vaccines, these sites are being referred to as County Super PODs. The Super PODs are expected to dispense thousands of vaccines each day once they are fully operational.
“Establishing the Operation Independence IMT will reduce and eliminate barriers to vaccine access for Orange County’s residents,” said Supervisor Donald P. Wagner, Third District. “This is important for the taxpayers we serve as it enables us to maintain fiscal accountability and avoid duplication of efforts at the City level.”
The County is anticipating the need for at least five Super PODs that will be brought online as they are approved, staffed, and have COVID-19 vaccines available. The location of the County Super POD sites are in development, and will be announced as they are finalized. Once finalized, the County Super POD sites will be opened in a phased approach and will be located regionally throughout Orange County.
“I’m pleased that the Operation Independence IMT will eliminate potential waste of the vaccine and keep the community informed by providing coordinated communications among all agencies, authorities, stakeholders and the public,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District.
Currently, vaccinations are being provided to Orange County residents and those who work in Orange County that fall within Phase 1a, all tiers. Vaccines will be dispensed at County Super PODs only to Orange County residents and those who work in Orange County who qualify. A vaccine will not be delivered unless identification and documentation of vaccine eligibility are presented at the site. To view a list of who is eligible to receive a vaccine, visit the OC Health Care Agency website https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/phased-approach-vaccine-distribution.
“I strongly encourage residents to visit www.COVIDVaccineFacts.com for the latest information on who is currently eligible to receive the vaccination, and learn the facts about the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. The County and our partners have engaged in annual POD exercises to ensure we are ready to quickly distribute vaccines throughout Orange County,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
An Incident Management Team (IMT) was established on December 31, 2020 for Operation Independence. The Operation Independence IMT is a unified command with representatives from the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Orange County Fire Authority, the County of Orange County Executive Office (CEO) and other County agencies.