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City of Ukiah supports COVID-19 vaccination clinics to accelerate community immunity

Ukiah Daily Journal logo Ukiah Daily Journal 1/27/2021 Submitted
a group of people looking at a computer: Assemblymember Jim Wood administers COVID-19 vaccines on Jan. 12 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. (Photo contributed) © Provided by Ukiah Daily Journal Assemblymember Jim Wood administers COVID-19 vaccines on Jan. 12 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center. (Photo contributed)

The City of Ukiah is helping to accelerate the distribution process for COVID-19 vaccinations through the implementation of “pop-up” clinics that allow safe and efficient vaccine access for eligible community members. The city hosted a successful vaccination clinic at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on Jan. 12 that was aimed at immunizations for school district staff.

The city will continue to coordinate with Mendocino County and local healthcare providers to conduct additional clinics based on this model in the coming days and weeks. Mendocino County is also running vaccine clinics this week at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds and other locations throughout the county. The County of Mendocino estimates that 1,600 to 1,800 individuals will be vaccinated weekly.

“These community clinics represent a critically important step forward in our local distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Sage Sangiacomo, Ukiah city manager. “We are eager to help with staffing, venue and logistics for these clinics to move our community more quickly toward protection from the virus and toward a much-desired return to our normal business and social activities.”

The pop-up clinics reduce pressure on hospital and healthcare systems by offering an alternate location that is professional, sterile, and highly efficient since it is focused entirely on vaccinations. City of Ukiah paramedics have been trained and are assisting with the vaccine clinics to scale up and expedite the distribution efforts. Additionally, other healthcare providers are now joining the distribution efforts, such as Assemblyman Jim Wood, DDS, who helped deliver vaccine shots at a city clinic earlier this month.

Wood posted on his Facebook page: “I had a very rewarding day yesterday–helping administer #COVID19 vaccinations at a clinic in #Ukiah. I hope to volunteer at as many of these clinics as my schedule permits to help get these vaccinations done as quickly as possible. As a dentist, I’m joining a new group of health care providers that the state has allowed to administer these vaccines due to the pandemic. Pharmacists have been giving other immunizations for some time and now dentists, EMTs and paramedics join to help Californians.”

The city’s conference facility has served as a central location for facemasks and hand sanitizer for the business community and is now being used for the vaccine rollout.

“The Ukiah Valley Conference Center has proven its continuing role as a tremendous asset to the community,” said Kerry Randall, Ukiah facilities administrator. “Before this crisis, we hosted a wide variety of meetings and special events that enhanced the community and brought in revenue. But during the pandemic we pivoted and found important ways for the center to help meet community needs, including utilizing the facility for socially-distant small meetings, running blood drives, acting as a centralized distribution center for face masks and hand sanitizer for the business community, and now serving as the site for vaccination clinics.”

The situation with the pandemic remains dire. In an effort to expedite delivery of the vaccines, state officials are increasing flexibility on the guidelines for distribution and expanding the groups of eligible residents. Earlier this month, CDPH expanded vaccine access to all healthcare workers and relaxed guidelines for unused doses. CDPH also reduced the age threshold for COVID-19 vaccinations to 65 years old; that is consistent with the announcement at the federal level from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggested that states focus on vaccinating those 65 years and older instead of setting the bar at 75 years old as the agency previously advised.

On Jan. 4, the city conducted an emergency vaccine clinic at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center to ensure the full use of approximately 110 vaccine doses that were about to expire due to a freezer failure at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. City, county and hospital officials coordinated closely and were successful with emergency distribution of the available doses to the public.

COVID-19 response efforts are being coordinated on a regional level – updates can be found at the Mendocino County COVID-19 page.

Additional information on tracking COVID-19 in California can be found at:

State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data

County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity

Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists and the public

Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Data for establishing tier status

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