The coronavirus vaccine arrives in Sonoma County

He arrived on a FedEx delivery vehicle Friday morning, inside a huge white box filled with dry ice – Sonoma County residents were waiting nine months after a local epidemic broke out and less than 12 months after the novel coronavirus was reported. To global health officials.

With clear excitement and hope, local hospital and county health officials said the arrival of the long-awaited coronavirus vaccine is a historic turning point in the fight against the virus, which is currently spreading at an unprecedented rate in the community.

“This is our ticket out of the epidemic,” said Bill Carroll, chief medical executive of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional H Hospital Spital. “We are really excited about starting this process. Our staff who have done such a great job caring for these patients are really eager to get the vaccine, because they know it is protective, they know it is the key to getting out of the epidemic. “

A day after more than 600 new cases were reported daily by local health officials, 87575 doses were entered in some counts on Thursday, more than double the previous record of 3,343 cases reported just two weeks ago. Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer, described this week as “the darkest day of the epidemic.”

County spokesman Paul Gulikson said the mood in the county between hospital and healthcare officials is one of hope and exhilaration. “I think you’ll hear a mass uproar in the county – people are very excited,” he said, noting that given the number of cases reported daily, “this is a shot in the arm we all need.”

Significantly, however, the initial shipment of the vaccine is sufficient to inoculate only a quarter of the 19,000 people placed at the head of the line to receive shots. About 4,900 doses received on Thursday, all first doses of the two-dose vaccination procedure, will be given to priority healthcare workers in the county. A second shipment of 2,925 Pfizer doses is expected next week, county officials said.

On Thursday, the Federal Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee recommended emergency approval of another coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna. The move is a clear indication that the FDA will approve the vaccine and local health care officials expect shipments from Moderna soon.

“This gives us hope that there is an end to sight, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Mess said Thursday. “But we have a lot to do. We have to vaccinate a lot of people … and for that we need another dose, which is a challenge. But on public health we hope there is a turn. “

The county’s deputy health officer, Dr. Kismet Baldwin said the first vaccine dose would be given to health care workers in the first-tier priority group determined by the state’s public health department. These include workers in direct care of patients in acute care hospitals, psychiatric emergency facilities, senior care home staff and residents, paramedics and staff at dialysis centers.

Baldwin said residents of skilled nursing homes are expected to receive the vaccine through federal distribution agreements with Vagrans and CVS pharmacies starting December 28.

The number of health care workers in local acute care hospitals is 8,945, officials said; There are 360 ​​mental and behavioral health workers; The number of skilled nursing and residential care facility staff for the elderly is 2,800. The number of occupants in long-term care homes fluctuates, but the county has about 5,500 such beds.

There are 1,621 paramedics, providing EMT and other emergency medical services, and 61 workers at local dialysis centers, county officials said.

The chief medical officer of both the Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, Dr. Chad Krillich said he would start vaccinating his front-line staff for several hours starting Friday morning. The increase in local transmission of the virus has led to an increase in the number of hospital admissions, Krillich said.

According to the latest figures from the state’s public health department, Sonoma County hospitals had 65 positive COVID-19 patients, with 11 patients receiving intensive care. The hospital recorded a record high incidence of CO 76 Covid-19 patients on Monday, surpassing the civil hospital-related hospital admissions in 60 hospitals in late July, the height of the final wave of cases.

“I think there’s a lot of hope,” Krillich said. “I’m talking to a caregiver and people are really excited (the vaccine) is here and they can start getting vaccinated. It will take some time. “