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SANTA MARIA, CA – December 17, 2020 – Health care workers at Marian Regional Medical Center are among the first in Santa Barbara County to receive the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine.
The first dose of the two-dose vaccine will begin to be administered to high risk health care staff today. In total, several hundred Dignity Health Central Coast employees are scheduled to receive this first round. Two doses of the vaccine in persons aged 16 years and older are necessary for the vaccine to be effective.
“We remain committed to the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community. While we understand that vaccine distribution will be a process, today we are one step closer to a safer future,” says Trees Ritter, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist, Dignity Health Central Coast. “As we move forward, we continue to collaborate with our local and state health departments to acquire additional doses for distribution.”
In preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine, Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals acquired the necessary equipment to store and administer the vaccine, train staff, and develop relevant processes and procedures.
“We have seen first-hand in the devastating impact of the coronavirus on our communities and across the world,” says Scott Robertson, Chief Medical Officer, Dignity Health Central Coast. “This vaccine gives us great hope. The vaccine, along with the appropriate personal protective equipment, will help keep our health care teams safe as they continue to deliver care to COVID-19 positive patients.”
In accordance with federal and state guidelines, initial supplies of vaccines are reserved for frontline workers including, health care workers, first responders and those at highest risk. While the vaccine is now available at our facilities, employees are encouraged, but not required, to receive the vaccine.
Although the vaccine is now available to some essential staff members, we must remain vigilant and continue to follow CDC guidelines – including wearing a mask, frequent hand hygiene, and social distancing.
Dignity Health Central Coast will continue to share vaccination updates as they become available. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html.
[Photos: Left-COVID-19 Vaccinations arrive for Dignity Health Central Coast; Middle-Trees Ritter, MD Receives the COVID-19 Vaccine; Right-Ultra Low Freezer for COVID-19 Vaccination Storage]
About Dignity Health Central Coast
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria. Pacific Central Coast Health Centers (PHC), a service of Dignity Health, is a non-profit clinic organization comprised of 45 health centers and 190 physicians and advanced care providers, located from Templeton to Oxnard. Our experienced physicians and health centers provide a wide range of primary and specialty care services. As a Dignity Health member, PHC is a part of Dignity Health Central Coast’s award-winning network of care. For more information, visit dignityhealth.org/centralcoast.
Sara San Juan