In just more than 12 months since LVMC first received its initial doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus disease caused by SARs-COV-2, our vaccination team has administered almost 29,000 doses of vaccine to healthcare workers, first responders, members of the community, and children.
Since those first shots, the hospital added Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines began administering third doses and booster shots, and in the middle of the year began offering pediatric vaccines.
The first vaccine for a healthcare employee was administered to Chief of Medical Staff Dr. William Pierce by Dr. Khawar Gul, the cardiologist.
“The greater good is served if as many people as possible get this vaccine,” Dr. Pierce said at the time. “I wanted to be right up there. It helps me feel very safe working in a hospital with COVID patients.”
For much of the past year, LVMC has been the sole hospital in the county to administer Covid vaccines to the public. The Vaccination clinics, held in the hospital’s Ocean’s Seven Café, are staffed by administrators, Lompoc Health Medical Assistants, Patient Financial Services clerks, Pharmacists, and other employees from a multitude of departments. LVMC’s Blue Coat volunteers have also been instrumental in ensuring the process is efficient.
More than 10,000 people have used the state’s MyTurn page to book appointments, while others have come as walk-ins.
According to statistics logged at the hospital, some 619 doses were administered from June 7-11, 2021, while another peak was 617 doses from July 16 to Aug. 6, 2021. The first few sessions for pediatric patients ages 5 to 11 saw about 40 children, a number that doubled a week later.
One of the first in line was 7-year-old Jade Speaks. Holding her hands a foot apart, she admitted to being “this much scared and this much excited” to get the vaccine.
“Then I’ll be safe and don’t have to worry about getting the virus,” she said.
Jade’s mother, Alyssa, voiced comments duplicated by many coming to receive vaccines – across the generations.
“It’s so important to not only have safety for Jade but also for others,” she said.
For more information on vaccination appointments at LVMC, see MyTurn.ca.gov.