There are a lot of smiles on the faces of Mono County frontline healthcare workers as doctors, nurses, environmental housekeeping workers, clinicians, and everyone in the healthcare field that have close, if not daily contact, with Covid-19 patients are being immunized against the deadly virus. It must be a great relief.
Mono County announced in a press release on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, that the first COVID-19 vaccines arrived on Monday, December 21, after months of waiting for a vaccine to be developed, and they have begun vaccinating the 300 frontline healthcare workers that work at Mammoth Hospital with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
After months of gloom and uncertainty, there is now, finally, a shared sense of optimism slowly coming onto the stage in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Tom Boo, Mono County Public Health Officer described the day the vaccine arrived at the Mammoth Hospital as “…an historic day to celebrate in Mono County. After nine months of battling the relentless and indiscriminate virus, we can now see some light at the end of a long dark tunnel.” He says they expect to receive vaccines in small doses, and warned that “it will be a while, perhaps months, before we’re able to vaccinate everyone who wants it.”
The county is following federal and state guidance in prioritizing vaccination of a combination of essential workers whose work duties place them at higher risk and vulnerable members of the community.
Boo cautions that the pandemic situation is going to get worse before it gets better, and we need to continue COVID-19 protection measures.
Tom Parker, Mammoth Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer said, “The vaccine is safe, effective and helps protect both our patients and each other.”
Also, on December 21, Mono County Public Health reported that it received a limited supply of the Moderna COVID19 vaccine and will start immunizing additional people categorized in Phase 1-a by the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
This group includes people at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work in any role, such as, but not limited to paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and others providing emergency medical services and others.
Bryan Wheeler, Mono County Public Health Director, noted that “We only received 100 doses of the Moderna Vaccine, so we have to be very strategic and thoughtful in who, based upon CDC guidelines, gets immunized in Mono County due to the extremely limited supply.”
Once more vaccine is allocated, the Mono County, the Public Health Department will expand vaccination to other essential personnel and the community, focusing initially on adults aged 75 and older, and higher risk people with pre-existing conditions.
The general public will be a part of the Phase 2-3 roll-out anticipated to be spring or early summer 2021.
Mono County has a website with information in both English and Spanish to inform the public on the vaccine schedule, safety, and distribution. Visit our Sierra Wave News website for links to them at sierrawave.net.
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