Waiting in line: Most elected officials in western county say they haven’t gotten the vaccine | TheUnion.com

Waiting in line: Most elected officials in western county say they haven’t gotten the vaccine

The initial rollout of vaccines in California has left many frustrated about the ever-shifting process, its clarity and implementation.

Some people anxious to get their appointment have let frustration turn to cynicism, accusing local elected officials of moving ahead in the vaccine line.

While some local officials said they were aware of these claims, they say it’s all simply rumor.

As of this month only two elected officials in western Nevada County have confirmed receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

In Nevada City, both Mayor Erin Minett and Vice Mayor Duane Strawser said they’ve gotten the shot, but not by skipping the line.

“I can definitely say that none of us Nevada City elected officials, or our city staff members, et cetera, have been offered early vaccination shots by our county or state health officials,” Strawser said. “We all have to get in line like everyone else.”

According to Strawser, he qualified for the shot through a UC Davis vaccine test trial program prior to the vaccine being cleared for public use.

“I signed up through UC Davis, on my own, as any citizen could have, without assistance or encouragement from our county/state officials,” Strawser added.

According to Minett, she qualified for the vaccine during Phase 1A — which prioritized health care workers — as a home health care provider.

“It has nothing to do with my position as mayor of Nevada City,” Minett said.

In Grass Valley, all City Council members said they had not received the vaccine, aside from Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle, who said it was a personal matter.

On the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, all members said they were still on waiting lists, except for Supervisors Sue Hoek and Ed Scofield, who could not be reached for comment.

“I am low on the vaccination priority list and happy to wait my turn so our health care providers, elderly and vulnerable folks, and teachers can all get their vaccinations first,” District I Supervisor Heidi Hall said in an email.

The county said this week its allocation of 15,000 vaccine doses may be impacted by severe weather conditions affecting large parts of the nation.

“We have been informed by the state that orders may be held until weather conditions permit carriers to resume vaccine shipments,” an update to the county’s vaccine website read.

The large allocation this week comes as the county was hoping changes to how the state doles out vaccine supply would benefit Nevada County, which has a disproportionate amount of seniors, a focus of Phase 1B vaccinations.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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