Adventist Health/Rideout received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, it was announced in a news release. Yuba-Sutter’s only hospital facility will begin administering the vaccine to frontline health care workers as soon as today.

The vaccine shipment included 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will initially be stored at Adventist Health/Rideout in the shipping container with dry ice and in an ultra-cold freezer to meet the cold storage requirement.

Vaccinations will be delivered in phases in accordance with state and local public health guidelines, according to the news release. The first to be vaccinated will be health care workers at hospitals and the most vulnerable patients in long-term care facilities.

“The vaccines come not a moment too soon,” said Rick Rawson, president of Adventist Health/Rideout. “Our COVID-19 activity is very high and the demand for care is putting a strain on nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians and many other staff members.

“Normally our associates would be preparing for the holidays, but this year, our associates have been taking extra shifts to care for our patients. We want to make sure they – and our community members – have the opportunity to enjoy the holidays safely with the relief of knowing that this is the start of a turning point.”

Rawson said in the news release, however, that the good news should not be cause for people to let their guard down. 

“The virus is still among us, and we must remain vigilant. Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands – and avoid gatherings.”

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