Eisenhower Health’s mass vaccination clinic runs smoothly, county works on bumpy rollout

Eisenhower Health’s mass vaccination clinic runs smoothly, county works on bumpy rollout

Olivia Sandusky

Susan Dalbey is among some of the first patients at Eisenhower Health to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

For many, it was an emotional moment after months of waiting.

“I’m so relieved, and the shot was nothing!” said Dalbey.

As Luther Wood sat in the observation room, he began to get emotional.

“It brings me to tears because there’s so much upset in our world, and so much good is being done. We’re going to get through it,” said Wood.

Each day, Eisenhower staff expects to vaccinate 1,400 patients.

“This can be any patient over the age of 70 and above. We are currently vaccinating our patient population that have a primary care within Eisenhower that have been seen since 2019, including any specialists that they may have seen since 2019,” said April Lopez, the clinic’s logistics coordinator at Eisenhower Health.

Patients are able to make appointments online through a heavily monitored system.

“We are releasing our mychart messages to our patients in groups of 8,000 to ensure that our website does not crash and we don’t have any system issues. We release those in groups, we monitor the volume on that, and as the volume decreases, we then release the next 8,000 to allow them to schedule, and so on and so forth,” said Lopez. 

Once individuals check in for their first shot, a second appointment is automatically scheduled.

“I just got here, walked in, there’s nothing to it. It’s just a breeze,” said Wood. 

From easy scheduling to short wait times, the process at Eisenhower Health looks different than Riverside County’s bumpy roll-out, which officials say they’re trying to fix.

“Indio is one of our more successful sites. I know there were some issues with long lines out there, but we seem to be doing better over the last couple of days so that’s good news,” said Jose Arballo Jr., the public information officer for the Riverside County Dept. of Public Health. 

Jose says work is also being done on the county’s vaccine appointment website, after it crashed several times.  

“What we’re doing is we’re looking for different ways to make appointments, updating our website, working through some of our partners to maybe help our seniors,” said Arballo. 

And frustration also builds among residents when it comes to second appointments, with many wondering why that does is not being prioritized.

“There may be a time where we have certain days that are strictly for second doses, we’re working on that, we haven’t finalized it yet, but those are the kinds of things we’re looking at,” said Arballo 

 

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