WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) — “I think I’ve been nervous since March of 2020 and I could just feel myself just relaxing.”
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in the East Bay. One Walnut Creek clinic is helping those 65 and older to get vaccinated.
That clinic acquired 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Contra Costa County after many senior patients pleaded for help, waiting hours to get through county websites and online organizations.
And on Saturday, healthcare volunteers got those shots in people’s arms.
It was the first day of the senior vaccination clinic at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette and so far no complaints, at least half of those who registered received their first shot.
As the state experiences a slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine — it was a fast rollout in Lafayette Saturday.
“I was anticipating a nightmare, given all the news that we’ve seen on TV, this is so well organized,” Patti Camras said. “I am so impressed.”
“I don’t understand how it could be so glitch-free considering the number of people and how smoothly it went,” Thomas Devine said.
Dr. Rebecca Parish with comprehensive health in Walnut Creek managed to get 500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Contra Costa County with help from the City of Lafayette, local non profits and the medical community.
Those 65 and up were able to get vaccinated.
“I’m really grateful for the community coming together to make this happen,” Dr. Parish said. “It’s given everybody a way forward and a little bit of hope which I think is helpful.”
Hope for Thomas Devine, a U.C. Berkeley professor who had trouble getting an appointment for his shot with his healthcare provider.
He has been taking extra safety measures after his sister came down with COVID.
“There’s something about knowing someone in your family who has it that really drives it home how serious the disease is,” Devine said.
Contra Costa County just allowed those 65 and older to sign up online and schedule an appointment for a vaccination.
The county is still prioritizing people in Phase 1 – which includes healthcare workers, and says about 1,000 people per hour have been trying to set up appointments online.
That’s why Dr. Parish set up this drive thru vaccination clinic after elderly patients pleaded for help.
It is by appointment only – those who registered and got their shots are now looking forward to normal life in the future.
“We really miss going out for dinner at restaurants,” Devine said. “We really miss that we’re really looking forward to that.”>
“We’re at the end of the tunnel, we see light at the end of the tunnel,” Camras said.
“I have a lot to live for,” Jane Britton said. “I want to be with my family and I don’t want to put any more pressure on the nurses and doctors than they already have.”
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses. They all need to return in three weeks for shot number two.
And as long as the clinic receives more doses from the county, they will continue to hold these events.
To be added to the waitlist, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.