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Initial Doses Of Pfizer Vaccine Arriving Today In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA — Dr. Eric Sergienko provided an update on efforts to disperse the COVID-19 vaccine to local healthcare workers on the frontlines during the pandemic.

At today’s Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Interim Public Health Officer stated that the first travel case containing 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive today. They will then be split between Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, with most of the initial doses “staying up here” in Tuolumne County. He added, “The intent of that is to get our frontline healthcare workers covered with a vaccine. They are getting tired, they are in the trenches, and doing work. We need to protect them as best that we can.”

The local healthcare providers, the largest being Adventist Health Sonora, will disperse the vaccine themselves to employees.

Dr. Sergienko adds, “We will be receiving more vaccine next week, the Moderna vaccine, and it is likely that we will move into additional populations of healthcare workers such as EMS, and also moving into our long term care facilities and our skilled nursing facilities.”

Concluding,  he says, “It is definitely a work in progress, but it is exciting to see this come to fruition with the intent that we will have most of our healthcare workers, and long-term care facility residents, receiving the first dose of vaccine, by the end of January.”  

The State of California has indicated that the vaccine will be readily available for the general population around March or April.

During the supervisors meeting, there was also a brief presentation from Dr. Alex Heard, Adventist Health Sonora’s Chief Medical Officer, regarding surge planning. The hospital has six ICU beds, but there is the potential to expand as needed. Dr. Heard noted that available staffing is a bigger challenge than actual bed space. He also noted that the hospital is in a good place when it comes to things like personal protective equipment.