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First Vaccines Administered

Mendocino County Public Health Works With Adventist Health to Administer First Round of COVID-19 Vaccines

Post Date: 12/18/2020 1:00 PM

Mendocino County Public Health (MCPH) officially secured 975 complete doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine yesterday morning, Thursday, December 17, 2020. MCPH partnered with Adventist Health to receive the initial shipment of vaccines, while waiting for the delivery of an ultra-cold freezer. This first round of COVID-19 vaccines will go to our healthcare personnel providing hospital care, emergency and urgent care, or care in skilled nursing facilities to ensure they remain healthy and ready to continue working at the frontlines of this pandemic. Administration of the vaccine started yesterday afternoon.

“Today is a big day for us as a county, as we have been working hard to secure this first round of vaccines for a long time,” said County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “The 975 doses will cover just over one percent of our county’s population, which is an important start in slowing this virus. By supporting our healthcare workers in getting vaccinated, we are protecting resources necessary to meet the healthcare needs of our community throughout the pandemic. We are in constant contact with the state in our efforts to secure further doses of the vaccine, and will continue to abide by state and federal guidelines in prioritizing vaccine distribution. What is vital, though, to ending this pandemic, is that we all must continue to avoid gatherings and wear facial coverings. Until the vaccine is administered to a significant portion of our population, this virus is still just as dangerous and deadly as ever. We will be tracking access to COVID-19 vaccines in effort to distribute them effectively and in a timely manner, with aim to make the vaccine available to the general public as soon as possibleaccording to state and federal guidelines.” 

The first twelve people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Mendocino County were:

Adventist Health Emergency Room Doctor, Dr. Mark Luoto

Adventist Health Emergency Room Registered Nurse, Holly Bennett 

Adventist Health Hospital Housekeeper, Marcela Gamez

OptumServe Testing Site Registered Nurse, Angle Slater

OptumServe Testing Site Registered Nurse, Jen Kephart

Adventist Health Emergency Room Doctor, Dr. Drew Colfax

MedStar and CALSTAR Flight Paramedic, Devon Schrader

Adventist Health Emergency Room Registered Nurse, Beth Cabral

Adventist Health Street Medicine Program Physician, Dr. Ace Barash

Redwood Community Crisis Center Crisis Worker, Taryn Soto

Adventist Health Surgical Registered Nurse, Lisa Fourzon

Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Fire Captain and Paramedic, Skip Williams

No reports of any adverse side effects have been reported by those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Mendocino County at this time.

“We appreciate our partnership with Adventist Health, the clinics and all our healthcare partners,” said Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo. “Along with these dedicated healthcare providers, Mendocino County will begin vaccination clinics at the fairgrounds in the near future.  We will provide information to the public as soon as we confirm our schedule.”   

For a detailed plan on how the state of California plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, please see pages 17-19 of the following document provided by the California Department of Public Health:

“We are so grateful for Mendocino County Public Health’s partnership in getting these vital vials to our teams on the front lines,” shared Jason Wells, President for Adventist Health in Mendocino County. “For the past nine months, our healthcare workers and first responders have been courageously serving despite the challenges. This is another tool to help us protect our healthcare workers and our community. More than a vaccine, to our teams this is a shot of relief and a glimmer of hope for our community that better days are ahead in our fight against this pandemic. This is the beginning for a promising journey ahead.”

Mark Luoto, MD, Adventist Health emergency physician was the first in Mendocino County to get vaccinated. “I have been waiting to get in line to get this, since I’m almost 70 and in the high-risk group. This just gives me more reassurance so I can protect myself and I can protect the patients we serve and our community. From what I know, it’s very safe, so I recommend that everyone gets it as soon as it becomes available to them.”

More information on when the first group of Tier 1 healthcare workers will receive the vaccine will be released in the coming days.

(County Presser)

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