SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Five frontline health care workers were among the first residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in San Luis Obispo on Friday.
County Public Health said this moment marks the beginning of local vaccine distribution.
The county plans to first administer the vaccine to health care workers while CVS provides vaccines for those in long-term care facilities.
The county plans to continue to distribute the vaccine in phases until it is widely available to anyone who would like to receive it countywide.
“That light at the end of the tunnel is brighter today,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, the county's Public Health Officer. “Our frontline health care workers and some of our community’s most vulnerable residents will have critical protection through a safe and effective vaccine. This is one of the most important tools we have for ending the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fight is not over. We must continue to reduce the number of cases locally.”
The first recipients of the vaccine included: Alec Flatos, Fire Engineer and Paramedic for the San Luis Obispo Fire Department; Marla Howard, Hemodialysis Nurse for Davita Dialysis Centers; Dr. Matthew Williams, Emergency Physician at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center; Jennifer O’Connor, Emergency Department Nurse at French Hospital Medical Center; and Dr. Daisy Ilano, Medical Director for the SLO County Psychiatric Health Facility.
“The vaccine will help us stay safe, and keep our families safe, as we continue to provide care day after day to those in our community who need us,” said O’Connor.
The County Public Health Department has received 1,950 doses of vaccine and expects to receive more in the weeks ahead. The department said it is working with partners, including hospitals and EMS organizations, to vaccinate frontline health care workers countywide.
Long-term care facilities should receive their first doses by the end of the month and other high-risk individuals can expect to get vaccinated closer to March 2021. The general public can expect to have access to the vaccine later that year.
For updates and breakdowns of COVID-19 cases throughout San Luis Obispo County, click here.