The first COVID-19 vaccine was administered around 2 p.m. at Adventist Health/Rideout on Friday, according to Adventist chief strategy officer Monica Arrowsmith.
Dr. Jagraj Nijjar, the infectious disease specialist at the hospital, was the first to receive a vaccine, according to a Yuba County Twitter post. The shot was administered by R.N. Jennifer Crawford.
“The vaccinations went well,” Arrowsmith said in an email. “We started with a dedication to all those who have worked the front lines and all those patients who have suffered with this illness and then we acknowledged and celebrated this path that is the beginning of the end.”
Yuba-Sutter received its first 975 doses of the initial Pfizer vaccine – all of which will be administered to direct healthcare workers at Adventist Health/Rideout, according to a Yuba County news release.
Arrowsmith said the hospital is expecting additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine.
“Together we will have enough for our workforce,” Arrowsmith said.
More doses are expected to arrive on a weekly basis but those doses, for the first couple of months, will go to direct healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
“We are following the guidelines and vaccinating those who meet the Phase 1A highest risk groups,” Arrowsmith said. “Our initial doses are being offered to front line staff who care for patients in high risk COVID settings, such as the emergency department, the ICUs and COVID units.”
A definitive timeline for when the vaccine will be available to other groups and the general public is not available at this time, according to the release.
“Arrival of the vaccine is hopeful, great news,” Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu said. “But rollout to the general public will take several months. As we’ve seen in our community, a surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths only takes days and weeks. We have to stay strong and get through this last leg before we get to the finish line.”
Luu said several hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be available in Yuba-Sutter sometime next week, but said this is a “rapidly evolving situation.”
“The two currently approved vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have their doses spaced three and four weeks apart, respectively,” Luu said. “That means that the body will not have the protection expected from the vaccine until a week or so following the second dose.”
The public and providers can find information about the vaccine, at yuba.org/vaccines or https://bit.ly/2WpPJAZ (Sutter County). Residents should continue checking these pages frequently as they will be updated as more information from state and federal partners becomes available, according to the release.
Luu said while the numbers fluctuate with discharges, admittance and deaths, the intensive care unit at Adventist Health/Rideout remains at capacity. In addition, the region is still seeing an extremely high number of new cases.
“Our test positivity rates are not only the highest in the state of California, but some of the highest in the nation,” Luu said. “And we still have two more major holidays to get through, which is extremely worrisome.”
Cases increased by 132 on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 8,709. As of late Friday, 71 were hospitalized and 143 recovered.
Two Yuba-Sutter residents died Friday due to COVID-19 – a total of 58 local coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.
There are 1,427 current active cases.