County’s First COVID Vaccine Shipment Expected Friday

County’s First COVID Vaccine Shipment Expected Friday

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic rolled up their sleeves and bravely took the COVID vaccine jab on Monday.

As a record number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths ravage California, Angelinos are the first in our state to get protection against the virus. Statewide ICU capacity fell to 2.7 percent and Riverside County’s ICUs ran out of beds, they reported zero percent capacity.

Closer to home, county and valley residents welcomed the images of the small but mighty weapon in the war against coronavirus.

“Finally there’s hope that this is over,” says Marta Spencer, who lives in Aguanga and shops in the valley.

“A vaccine, that’s pretty cool,” says Jim Wallis, who lives in Palm Desert.

“I think it’s wonderful that we finally have the vaccine,” says Lois Harper,  

Riverside County anticipates getting a shipment of at least 14,000 vaccine doses on December 18, 2020.

“Some of them will be going directly to Riverside County Health for distribution, others will be going to individual hospitals depending on the size of the allotment that they get,” says Jose Arballo, Riverside County’s Dept. of Public Health senior information officer.

While the exact amount is still not known, if the county gets more than one container of 975 doses shipments will go directly to the hospitals including Eisenhower Health, Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial. They will vaccinate staff who work with COVID positive patients. 

“We have 17 acute care hospitals in Riverside County and each one of those who wanted to submitted their own plan for distribution which included a description of the individuals who would be the first line of vaccinations,” says Arballo, adding, they will distribute the vaccine to smaller healthcare facilities. 

Some who have  been working inside our overwhelmed hospitals during this pandemic tell us they’re desperate for any information on when they can get the vaccine so they can continue to save lives without the fear of becoming a patient or casualty themselves.   

“Workers there, they’ve been doing so much, working so hard, we’re really glad that they’ll be able to get something, and some protection soon enough,” says Arballo.

 

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