ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office began vaccinating their more than 3,000 county employees on Thursday.
Among the first members of the sheriff’s office to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Thursday in Dublin, the head of the agency Sheriff Greg Ahern.
“It’s a good day for us,” Ahern said.
The vaccine offered to the 1,800 members of the sheriff’s office, as well as all public safety personnel in Alameda County.
“We hope to vaccinate anywhere between about three to 6,000 people in this entire process, based on how many are available to come to us, and the availability of the vaccine,” Ahern said.
Sheriff Ahern says receiving this vaccine is also deeply personal for him.
Having lost two members of his department to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Deputy Oscar Rocha, who worked at the Santa Rita Jail and technician Valerie Leon passed away in the summer.
“It’s very important that we vaccinate all of our people that are willing to do this and get as many as we can so that we have herd immunity as quickly as we can to eliminate and mitigate the loss of death for COVID-19,” Ahern said.
EMTs and medics with local fire departments are administering the shots prepared and provided by the Alameda County Health Services Agency.
“This vaccine is safe and it works. We can see already in our long-term care facilities — our nursing homes, we’ve seen a reduction just in the past month in the number of outbreaks and hospitalizations there,” medical director Kathleen Clanon said.
“By having the vaccination, that protects us from getting COVID, and again, not getting people sick and into the hospital,” EMT coordinator Darrell Lee said.
1,100 vaccines were administered on the first of four vaccination days within a week.
The same group will receive their second shot in three weeks.