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At-Risk Friends and Family of SVMC Employees Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

While the COVID-19 vaccine remains very limited, Sierra View Medical Center recently received 80 doses of Moderna vaccines from the CDC to distribute at the hospital. Following guidelines from Tulare County, SVMC vaccinated employees as well as some of their friends and family members from the community earlier today.

88-year-old Lois Hardt received the first dose of the vaccine accompanied by her granddaughter, Traci Follett, SVMC Director of Clinical Informatics, Education and ACS. “I’m very glad she’s able to have the opportunity to get it because she’s in the high-risk group and I don’t want her to get the virus,” says Traci. Lois reported feeling no pain. “She did a marvelous job, I didn’t even know it happened,” she said of LVN, Sally Garza’s gentle touch administering the vaccine.

Other SVMC employees accompanied their friends or family 65 years or older throughout the morning. Following vaccination, each person waits 15 minutes before leaving to make sure there are no side effects.

Also receiving his vaccine today was Monsignor Scott Daugherty of St. Anne’s Parish here in Porterville. “I didn’t want to take anyone else’s spot,” says Monsignor Scott about putting off vaccination. At the insistence of his parish, he made the decision to receive the vaccine after being referred by an SVMC employee. Monsignor Scott continues to lead local ministry. “We do what we can, socially distanced, and outside. That gives people hope, just to be able to come to mass,” he says. The vaccine is just another glimmer of hope for Monsignor Scott and for the community as a whole.

And it’s that glimmer of hope that also encouraged 76-year-old Alice Moorhead to receive her vaccine. “I feel great. I was kind of leery, but I’ve got it and I’m going to move on,” she says. Her daughter, Staci Bowles, SVMC Manager of Patient Access, is relieved.

Vaccine availability is quickly evolving. To learn the latest about availability and distribution, please refer to Tulare County Health & Human Services (Public Health) covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-19Vaccine.aspx. Please also continue to wear your face covering, maintain a safe social distance, and wash your hands frequently.

SVMC followed criteria from Tulare County's public health department. Those eligible included individuals 65 years of age or older, healthcare workers, and those who work in funeral homes or pharmacies.

Patients wait in observation following COVID-19 vaccine before going home.

Traci Follett and mother, Lois Hardt, after Lois receives COVID-19 vaccine.

LVN, Sally Garza, administer COVID-19 vaccine to Monsignor Scott Daugherty.

Administrative Director of Quality and Care Management, Performance Improvement, Melissa Fuentes, welcomes those arriving to receive COVID-19 vaccine.