COVID-19 vaccines

A drive-up vaccine clinic for people in Phase 1a will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday in the parking garage at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario, Southwest Third Avenue entrance.

WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — In an email on Thursday afternoon, Irene Winters, Chief Nursing Officer for Valley Family Health Care, informed the newspaper that the organization would receive its first shipment of approximately 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this morning. The organization will make doses available to its front-line employees the same day, transporting doses in a truck with cold-holding equipment to various clinics in the Western Treasure Valley.

“These will be for our front-line staff and providers, consistent with the prioritization guidelines being followed around the country,” wrote Tim Heinze, CEO in an earlier email. “We do not have a direct pipeline/relationship with the CDC, though. We are working with our partners at Southwest District Health.”

In a phone interview Friday morning, Winters said the organization transported doses for 97 frontline workers who had consented to receiving doses in the first round. She said reporting this number to health officials was part of security measures in place as the vaccine is distributed by Southwest District Health.

“They’re being very careful and tracking where each vial goes carefully,” said Winters.

Any of the employees working directly with members of the public are considered front-line workers, according to Winters.

Most staff do not work weekends, allowing those receiving the vaccine today to manage any possible side effects, she said.

Winters expressed optimism for the vaccine’s potential to end the pandemic.

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