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They arrived masked and distanced, some in wheelchairs or with walkers.
Even before the doors officially opened at 1 p.m. today for COVID-19 vaccinations, excited patients started showing up early for their appointments to receive the vaccine at UC Davis Health.
For one 86-year-old retired soldier, the opportunity to get vaccinated could not come soon enough.
“I’m very happy to get it,” said Jim Clark, a Folsom resident. “I’m very pleased. I’d have gotten the shot six months ago if they’d given it to me.”
Clark was part of an initial patient group that included individuals 75 years and older as well as other high-priority patients such as dentists and other health care workers identified by Sacramento County’s public health department.
COVID-19 vaccinations are by appointment only. UC Davis Health is notifying eligible groups of patients. It cannot accommodate any walk-ins. Patients are encouraged to sign up for MyUCDavisHealth, where they will be notified when their group is eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
The new vaccine clinic includes a dozen injection stations set up in an auditorium near UC Davis Medical Center. About 70 people were scheduled for COVID-19 vaccinations on this first day, which was exciting and important for UC Davis Health officials, too.
“This is really where we want to be,” said Doug Kirk, chief medical officer for UC Davis Medical Center. “It's the patients we take care of, for whom we're trying to save lives and reduce hospitalizations. And while the new vaccine and vaccinating our healthcare workforce was a necessary requirement, what we're most interested in is vaccinating our patients and community members.”
Patient vaccination Information
At this time, vaccinations are by appointment only. UC Davis Health is notifying eligible groups of patients. It cannot accommodate any walk-ins.
Learn more about patient vaccination
UC Davis Health plans to ramp up its operations in the coming days. It anticipates being able to vaccinate as many as 850 people per day, seven days a week, at this initial clinic. The health system is also planning to open multiple sites across the area to vaccinate thousands of patients per day.
Today’s patients received the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two doses, 21 days apart.
The initial group today was identified by their medical records as the most vulnerable of UC Davis patients. The health system targeted individuals 75 years and older with underlying medical conditions such as heart disorders, sickle cell disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, cancer and stroke. Additional tiers of eligible patients will soon include people 65 years and older.
Bobbie Nauer, a 77-year-old Fair Oaks resident, was also pleased to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s a blessing,” said Nauer. “It does make me feel a little safer. I understand you’re not fully protected until you get the second shot, but it’s another layer, besides the mask, for protection.”
Nauer noted that it will still be some time before things can resume as they were before the pandemic.
“I think having the vaccine will make me feel a little more comfortable that I’m a little more protected,” Nauer added. “I do understand that we still have to stay apart and wear the masks, and probably still stay at home to some degree.”
In addition to UC Davis Health patients, the health system is partnering with Sacramento County to vaccinate other high-priority groups beyond its own patients:
- Sierra-Sacramento Valley Medical Society members who are practicing physicians, working with or in Sacramento County, and who aren’t affiliated with other health systems;
- Dentists in Sacramento County, as determined by the county and the California Dental Association;
- UC Davis Health patients who are health care workers but not affiliated with another health system.