‘A lifesaving place’: Whispering Pines vaccine clinic held final day on Tuesday | TheUnion.com

‘A lifesaving place’: Whispering Pines vaccine clinic held final day on Tuesday

Twelve-year-old Judah Aginsky shows the arm where he received the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at the county’s Whispering Pines vaccination clinic. Aginsky, who recently celebrated his birthday, had been looking forward to finally being of age for the vaccine. The clinic closed its doors Tuesday.
Photo: Elias Funez

After receiving her first COVID-19 vaccine dose at the county’s Whispering Pines clinic on its last day open, Grass Valley resident Shelby Sachs said she looked forward to going dancing and seeing family.

“I was thinking I could just do it alone as long as I can, but it’s just not like that,” said Sachs, explaining that she had been taking other precautions against the virus for some time, but originally did not want to be vaccinated.

Asked why she ultimately changed her mind, Sachs said she was around younger people she described as not taking precautions as seriously, adding that she has a close friend who is immunocompromised.

Others also made their way to the clinic on its last day.

“We’re just happy he can put it all behind him, hopefully,” said Akim Aginsky as he accompanied his son, Judah Aginsky, to get his first dose Tuesday morning. Aginsky said he brought Judah in that day as he had recently become eligible to be vaccinated after turning 12 years old.

“We’re really fortunate to have this here,” said Aginsky on the clinic.

Whispering Pines vaccine clinic nurse Jennifer Ulloa administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Grass Valley’s Shelby Sachs during the final day of operation Tuesday.
Photo: Elias Funez

County Director of Public Health Jill Blake wrote in an email Tuesday that, as of 1 p.m. that day, 21,628 doses had been administered at the clinic since its February opening. She added that 25 more doses remained pending for that afternoon.

As of Tuesday, a total of 102,145 doses have been administered to Nevada County residents, according to the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

“It’s been a lifesaving place,” said county Director of Public Health Nursing Cindy Wilson on the clinic. “There’s no telling … what would have happened in our community if we had not had this effort by all the people who worked here for all of these months and really done a great public service, but also done it with such compassion and kindness and professionalism.”

Given that full vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines requires a second dose weeks after the first, the clinic’s staff directed people coming in for a first dose during the clinic’s final weeks to other local providers for their second, a process Wilson said went smoothly due to those providers sharing information regarding their appointment availability.

“They have a place to go, a time, a date, that they can go and be sure that they’re going to get that second appointment,” said Wilson.

People seeking vaccines following the closing of the county’s clinic can find local providers including medical offices, grocery stores, and pharmacies listed on the “Get Vaccinated” page of the county website, as well as on myturn.ca.gov.


“It’s obviously an issue of concern if somebody fully vaccinated gets the virus, so we do want to know that, so that’s a question that we ask when we make the phone calls,” said Wilson on breakthrough COVID-19 cases identified through the county’s continued contact tracing and case investigation efforts.

In these cases, she added, genome sequencing is performed on the specimens in order to identify whether it is a variant, “or help explain why they’ve gotten a breakthrough case.”

“Mostly we are attributing it to the Delta variant — mostly, it’s not 100%, for sure — but, we are seeing that that’s fairly consistent that, if people are having breakthrough cases, that the Delta variant is involved,” said Wilson.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com

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