Safe and effective COVID-19 (Coronavirus) vaccines will be essential tools to end the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in California and are expected in Mono County later this month. Mono County will follow federal and state guidance for vaccine prioritization.
To inform Mono County residents on the COVID-19 vaccination plan and when they can expect to receive their free vaccination, the Mono County Public Health Department has published a Frequently Asked Questions document on the Health Department website.
“We anticipate that by the end of December local healthcare workers, including Emergency Medical Services personnel and frontline Mammoth Hospital personnel, will be vaccinated, if they choose to do so,” stated Bryan Wheeler, Mono County Public Health Director. “As more vaccine is allocated to Mono County, we will expand vaccination to other essential personnel and the community, focusing initially on higher risk people.”
It will take some time before the vaccine is available more widely to Mono County residents. While public health experts learn more about the protection vaccines provide, it’s important to keep using all the tools available to us to help stop the pandemic. This includes wearing masks, washing hands, staying 6 feet apart, and signing up for CA Notify.
“Our local and state health situation is dire – cases have been increasing at an exponential rate in Mono County, and ICU’s in California and Nevada are struggling under the strain,” said Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Health Officer. “If we all abide by the Regional Stay-At-Home Order, we will have a better chance of getting infection rates down, as we saw in the spring, saving lives, preventing disability, and allowing more business and social activity with modifications as the vaccine becomes more widespread throughout the State and County.”
California’s plan for the distribution and administration of a COVID-19 vaccine is guided by the following overarching principles:
- Ensuring the COVID-19 vaccine meets safety requirements
- Ensuring the vaccine is distributed and administered equitably, at first to those with the highest risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19
- Ensuring transparency by bringing in community stakeholders from the outset
As the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrive in California, on December 14, Governor Gavin Newsom launched “Vaccinate All 58,” California’s campaign for a safe, fair, and equitable vaccine for all 58 counties in the state.
“Hope is here. As our first doses of vaccine arrive, the promise of ending the pandemic is on the horizon. By taking collective, inclusive action across all 58 counties to get people vaccinated, we can get through to a healthier future for all,” said Governor Newsom. “This is a moment for hope, and it is also a time to remain vigilant as we face the most intense surge yet. While we have prepared for this surge with beds and equipment, staffing shortages are real and impact our medical system. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and I am calling on all Californians to do our part to get us through this – wear a mask, reduce mixing, stay home, stop the spread and save lives. Together we will get through this.”
On December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in people aged 16 years and older for the prevention of COVID-19. Because the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States will be limited at first, CDC recommends that initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine be allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents.
The recommendations were made with the following goals in mind: decrease death and serious disease as much as possible, preserve functioning of society, and reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines by reading the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.
The Regional Stay Home Order instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit mixing with other households, which can lead to the spread of COVID-19. It allows access to critical sectors and allows for outdoor activities to preserve physical and mental health. The temporary but necessary closure will help stop the surge and prevent further overwhelming of our region’s ICU capacity.
Details on the Mono County COVID-19 Vaccination program can be found here.
Cover. Distance. Wash and #StaySafeToStayOpen!