SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) received its allocation of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in December and held a vaccination event on Saturday to inoculate all of its employees.
"As the leadership team, we felt it imperative that we receive the vaccine first to display our confidence in its production and in the oversight provided by the governmental agencies charged with its approval. Our entire staff will be offered the vaccine this Saturday, as their well-being and that of their families is of utmost importance to us. We very much look forward to turning the corner in this devastating pandemic in 2021," said Dr. Charles Fenzi, CEO/CMO of SBNC.
The event required employees to drive up and park. After receiving their vaccine, they received a sticker and had to wait 15 minutes before leaving.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the CDC and FDA for emergency use in December.
The pandemic and shelter-in-place orders of the last few months have affected everyone, but particularly those who live below the federal poverty level.
SBNC said the majority of their patients, and about 22% of Santa Barbara County residents are people living in poverty. People of color also comprise almost 65% of those who are currently suffering from COVID-19, but only 48% of the population as a whole, according to SBNC.
"We demonstrate our belief in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine. The best way to do this is to inoculate ourselves. We need to illustrate trust and we then vaccinate as many people as possible. This is serious," said Yessenia Marroquin, Director of Clinic Operations for SBNC.
SBNC consists of four medical clinics, two dental clinics, an integrated care clinic and a bridge clinic. They work to provide affordable healthcare to all, regardless of ability to pay.
For more information on Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, visit www.sbclinics.org or call 1-844-594-0343.