Saturday, September 23, 2023

First Mendocino County Frontline Health Care Workers Inoculated with COVID-19 Vaccine


Today, Mendocino County received its first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination and inoculated a cross-section of frontline health care workers in a public ceremony at Ukiah’s Adventist Health Hospital.

At the ceremony, Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren, “I’m excited to be part of this historic occasion of the first Pfizer COVID vaccines here in Mendocino County.”

Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren stands by as the shipment vaccines is opened

Dr. Coren emphasized that “the vaccines will be distributed according to an ethical and equitable framework developed by the Center for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health guidelines.”

Reflecting on loss left in the wake of the pandemic, Dr. Coren said, “We’re here because of this terrible pandemic that has claimed 24 lives in Mendocino County, the 2,000 people that have been infected, and everyone has suffered the economic loss,  social problems, and psychological suffering.”

Dr. Coren characterized the vaccine as “a light at the end of the tunnel” but warned that “It will be months until herd immunity can protect us all.” 

Dr. Coren emphasized that “Everyone must continue to keep wearing masks, maintaining social distance, washing hands, and avoid gatherings.”

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Chief Medical Officer for Adventist Health in Mendocino County Dr. Bassant Parker said that AH Hospitals “have taken care of over 200 patients with COVID. We currently have 13 COVID patients in our hospital and about 30% ICU capacity.”

Dr. Parker called the vaccine’s arrival to Mendocino County “a breath of fresh air to be able to give this vaccine to our essential workers and hopefully in the next few weeks or months to the rest of the community.”

President of Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and Adventist Health Howard Memorial Jason Wells thanked the community for working to flatten the curve and asked Mendocino County residents to stay vigilant as “we have seen the number of positive cases increase.”

He described the frontline healthcare workers receiving the vaccine as a “beautiful cross-section of the community” that included “physicians, nurses, housekeepers, people who deliver food to patients, people who serve in clinics, and people who do swabbing for the county.”

President Wells specifically thanked all frontline workers “who have come to work every single day despite the pandemic.”

Social Services Director of Mendocino County Bekkie Emery said that the 975 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are all first doses of a two-dose process. She said the second vaccine would occur in 21 days. 

In light of the Sacramento Bee’s article stating that California will be receiving approximately 40% fewer vaccines in the upcoming shipment, it remains to be seen whether all 975 individuals vaccinated in the first round will receive their second dose.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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