COVID-19 shots are available, just not around here

I got my first coronavirus vaccine shot Saturday (the Pfizer vaccine, for those who care) and everything went much smoother than I expected.

I received an email notification Thursday that shots were available for those over 75, and I reserved a spot then. I walked in the door right on time Saturday and moved quickly through the four stations—registration, shot/vaccination record, appointment for second shot, and observation.

Everybody was obviously well trained and knew what they were doing. I didn’t feel the shot going in and had no adverse reaction to it. In fact, I didn’t notice anybody having a problem with the shot during the time I was in the observation area. I’m getting my second shot Feb. 20 and will be fully protected two weeks later, March 6.

Needless to say, none of this happened in Nevada County. After 20 years of living in Lake of the Pines, we developed a network of doctors associated with Sutter Health, and that’s who provided the shot I got Saturday. I did have to drive to Roseville to get it, but I was looking for an excuse to visit Trader Joe’s anyway.

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital has been silent on what they are going to do with their vaccines. Presumably the shots will go to the patients of doctors affiliated with Dignity Health. They have said they have 1,400 shots, but haven’t said what they’re going to do with them, or if Dignity is going to get them any more. Sutter has several mass vaccination sites around the area. If Dignity is doing the same thing, it’s keeping it quiet.

But that’s been typical of the local response to when and how vaccinations will be distributed. Residents have been counseled to be patient, but nobody has spelled out exactly what is going to happen. Instead of developing a detailed plan before the first shot was shipped, you have a sense local officials are making it up on the fly.

Take, for example, the MyTurn software program being launched by the state so people can sign-up for shots. Nevada County said it will use the program, but it won’t be available for a couple of more weeks—another example of what could have been done in early December.

There is plenty of off-the-shelf medical appointment software available that can easily be activated, but country officials have typically done nothing they can lay-off on the state.

The state has so thoroughly botched the roll-out to the point that it is bringing in Blue Shield to get things going. But what happens if Blue Shield decides it doesn’t like the MyTurn program, and implements something else? More delays for Nevada County, particularly the 25% of the population that’s most vulnerable to COVID-19.

County officials say they’re lobbying state authorities to get more shots, but Supervisors’ Chair Dan Miller’s recent criticism of the state’s allocation of federal coronavirus relief funds for small counties won’t help our cause.

While the state auditor concluded bureaucrats miscalculated the rate of infections in each county to determine how much money they got, Miller went out of his way to specifically criticize Gov. Gavin Newson, suggesting the allocation of funds was pure politics. Good move, Dan.

I’m glad we kept our Sutter Health doctors.

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2 Responses to COVID-19 shots are available, just not around here

  1. rlcrabb says:

    Congratulations on winning the Pfizer lottery. If you don’t turn into a brain-eating zombie after the second dose I’ll assume it’s safe for the rest of us.
    And by the way, nice piece on the Fox Follies in today’s fishwrap.

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