by Sheryl Wilde“A well-oiled machine,” that’s how Wade Wilde, Executive Director/CFO, Mountain Shadows Support Group, describes the first COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Mountain Shadows, San Diego and Riverside.“It was a major, major event,” adds Stacy Sullivan, Director of Operations, Mountain Shadows Support Group. “On January 11th, we saw online that the Petco Park Super Station had opened and the community was able to make appointments to get vaccinated. And we said, ‘Why are our residents and clients not being vaccinated?’“We contacted the County and they said, ‘We can come to you.’ We met with the San Marcos Fire Chief on January 15th to discuss the logistics of holding our own vaccination clinic on campus. By January 18th, we had collected everything needed to make the event happen. We determined how many residents would get the vaccine and got consent from families.

“We also partnered with CVS in San Diego and Walgreens in Riverside to come onsite to provide the vaccines.“The first vaccination clinic was held on January 20th. On the day of the clinic, a fire truck, ambulance and other vehicles from Escondido Fire, Cal Fire, and other fire departments, came to the Escondido campus to help.”

“There were a couple of paramedics who told me they were really impressed with how organized we were,” says Tina Bandong, RN. “They liked how we had our own staff and nurses available to monitor everyone afterwards. One paramedic said that at other facilities they kind of had to figure things out themselves, so things didn’t go as smoothly as they did at our clinic.”“I heard a lot of the outside personnel say how great Mountain Shadows is and how they wish they could replicate this event across the County,” adds Jose Gonzalez, QIDP.

“CVS went to Oak and Elm houses to vaccinate the residents not on the campus,” adds Stacy. “Riverside had a clinic on Friday the 22nd with Walgreens.”Adds Heather Van Alstine, RN, Riverside, “Partnering with Walgreens was so amazing, because they were very prepared and organized. Everything went smoothly, even the transporting of the clients from other homes and the post-monitoring. Everyone came with a positive attitude. It went REALLY well.”

“I’m very proud of our team,” says Stacy. “Everything was so well organized. It was incredible. The staff was instrumental in having everything prepared. Everybody stepped up to make this happen.“So far 167 clients and staff have been vaccinated. That number will increase. We have four more clinics coming soon in San Diego and two more in Riverside.“We worked closely with San Diego County through it all. They have been an excellent resource. They’ve been very responsive to us

“This event was something that put a smile on my face. With these vaccinations, we’re making progress. We’re moving toward a more normal way of living on campus again. We’re moving in the right direction.”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic. It may be an effective way to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19 and it may help in preventing serious illness if an individual does catch the virus.