Vaccinations have begun at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Southern California earlier this week and was distributed to the Fontana Medical Center and other area hospitals by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA.
The Fontana Medical Center began administering the vaccine to physicians and staff on Dec. 17. Vaccinations also began at the Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center.
Vladimir Aguilar, RN was the first Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center staff member to receive the vaccine.
“It is safe and gives us hope to combat this virus,” said Aguilar, who works in the ICU. “It means we are getting a step closer to beating the virus that has been affecting the country for the last 10 months.”
The arrival of the vaccine brings hope that the end of this pandemic will be approaching. The vaccine received this week is designated, per the Department of Public Health, for physicians and staff who work in the acute care hospital setting. More allocations will be available soon.
Dr. Timothy Jenkins, area medical director and chief of staff for the Kaiser Permanente San Bernardino County Area, also received his vaccination on Dec. 17.
Dr. Jenkins will be working in the ICU during the next week and over the Christmas holiday, which is a designated high-risk area.
“This is really the day we’ve been waiting for the last nine months,” he said. “There is hope on the horizon and it has arrived today.”
Dr. Jenkins added that it is important for persons to remain vigilant.
“It is absolutely critical that people continue to wear their masks, social distance, wash their hands, and all the precautions we’ve been taking for the last nine months," he said.