Coronavirus Vaccine Arrive to the Coachella Valley

Coronavirus Vaccine Arrive to the Coachella Valley

Taylor Martinez

NBC Palm Springs has learned Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs received the first Coachella Valley shipment of a coronavirus vaccine Thursday.

DRMC began administering the Pfizer Vaccine to its medical staff at 10:15 Thursday morning.

Respiratory Therapist Sandra Aaronson was the first to receive the vaccine at Desert Regional Medical Center.

Sandi Aaronson Desert Regional Medical Center
Respiratory Therapist Sandra Aaronson was the first to receive the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine at Desert Regional Medical Center.

In addition to Aaronson, others in attendance at Thursday press conference were DRMC COO Michael Ditoro, Anesthesiologist Dr. Arun Thunga, Nursing Assistant Yuri Sanchez, Chairperson of Infectious Diseases Dr. Shubha Kerkar and Chair of Governing Board and CEO of LifeStream Dr. Rick Axelrod.

Arun Thunga, MD, Anesthesiologist at Desert Regional Medical Center receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccines given to a hospital worker in the Coachella Valley. The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, was administered on Thursday December 17 by Gina Cheek, RN. Director of the 2 Sinatra unit at Desert Regional [Photo from Desert Regional Medical Center]
Shubha Kerkar, MD, medical director of infectious disease for Desert Regional Medical Center receives the first COVID-19 vaccine given to a hospital worker in the Coachella Valley. The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, was administered on Thursday Dec. 17 by Gina Cheek, RN, director of the 2 Sinatra unit at Desert Regional. [Photo by Cassie Mayberry].
Sandra Aaronson, respiratory therapist at Desert Regional Medical Center receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccines given to a hospital worker in the Coachella Valley. The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, was administered on Thursday December 17 by Gina Cheek, RN. Director of the 2 Sinatra unit at Desert Regional [Photo from Desert Regional Medical Center]
Yuri Sanchez, nursing assistant and monitor technician in the emergency department at Desert Regional Medical Center receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccines given to a hospital worker in the Coachella Valley. The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, was administered on Thursday December 17 by Gina Cheek, RN. Director of the 2 Sinatra unit at Desert Regional [Photo from Desert Regional Medical Center]
Here is the full press conference:

Riverside County was expected to receive over 25,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks, and front line health care workers are the first to receive them, with shots available to the general public likely after the start of the New Year, officials told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

“A handful of hospitals will receive vaccines directly, but the majority will come to county Department of Public Health and then be distributed,” the agency’s director, Kim Saruwatari, said. “High-risk employees will be covered first.”

“After the general and acute care hospitals are served, skilled nursing facilities will be next, then first responders — emergency medical technicians and paramedics,” she said.

Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley will receive the largest direct dispensation, 1,900 vaccines, followed by Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs and Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, each of which is slated to receive 1,140 doses, according to the Riverside University Health System.

This story is developing and will be updated

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