Sonoma County reached a milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Friday when health authorities issued their one-millionth of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The shot was fired around noon. 16.30 to Santa Rosa resident Vanessa Mendoza, 17, who received her second dose at Roseland Community Center on Sebastopol Road.
“It was really unexpected,” Mendoza said shortly after county health officials handed her a basket of snacks as a prize.
Although she originally did not intend to be vaccinated, Mendoza said, she changed her mind after the omicron variant led to a winter increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, including in Sonoma County.
“I noticed things were rising fast. I just saw it everywhere and it got worse,” she said.
On Saturday, the total number of vaccinations was up to 1,000,594, according to a statement issued by the county. A total of 376,946 residents – 80% of Sonoma County’s eligible population of 5 and over – are now fully vaccinated, according to officials.
By comparison, 74% of California’s eligible population and 65% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated.
“One million doses is a great achievement for a county of our size,” said Dr. Urmila Shende, Sonoma County vaccine chief. “But more importantly, today we are celebrating the effects of every single dose of vaccine. Every time someone receives a vaccination, they dramatically reduce their chances of getting COVID-19, of transmitting it to another and of becoming seriously ill. or die. Countless people are alive today because they have been vaccinated. “
The county has distributed booster doses to 215,806 inhabitants. 63% of the population aged 12 and over are eligible for a booster shot.
Officials noted that the millions of doses include patients who are not residents of Sonoma County, nor does it take into account vaccinations from other health care providers, such as Kaiser Permanente.
Sonoma County has several vaccination clinics, and the one on Sebastopol Road is “by far” the busiest, said Tim Tuscany, a registered nurse and site manager.
“I think a lot of people get their vaccines and we made a good dent,” he said, emphasizing that the results are based on a team effort.
Performance comes as conditions improve in Sonoma County, where the number of cases drops from 249 new cases per year. 100,000 people below the top of the omicron rise to 40.2 from Friday.
Recent data from Thursday showed 7,565 active cases across Sonoma County – down from the previous week’s number of 13,778 cases.
There have been 464 deaths in Sonoma County since the pandemic began.
The queues at Roseland Community Center have dropped recently, going from 400 people a day to about 100. While patients once needed at least an hour to get their shots, Vanessa and her mother were only present for a few minutes.
Health experts stress that COVID-19 still exists and they will continue to issue vaccinations and booster shots.
“We have no plans to leave,” Tuscany said.
School-based clinics continue to be offered in partnership with the Sonoma County Office of Education. The vaccine is also available at most pharmacies, health clinics and primary care providers. A list of clinics open to the public can be found at SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine.
California eased its nationwide mask mandate Wednesday and opened the doors for vaccinated residents to mostly go about their daily lives without face clothing.
Still, county health officials stress that people should not completely do away with masks.
“We have managed the worst of the omicron rise. But let’s not be mistaken, the pandemic is not over – COVID-19 is still spreading,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer. said Wednesday during an interview with the Press Democrats’ editorial staff.
Sonoma County officials are postponing state guidelines, which still require anyone not vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear a mask in an indoor public setting.
Certain circumstances require people to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status. Examples include being in public transportation or a public safety officer.
Children in childcare or attending K-12 schools in Sonoma County’s 40 school districts must still wear masks until further notice.
State officials said they will assess pandemic trends through Feb. 28 before presenting a timeline for when mask restrictions can be eased for students.
You can contact the staff writer Colin Atagi at [email protected] On Twitter @colin_atagi