Mike Brazil: County Health clueless about drive-thru shots | TheUnion.com

Mike Brazil: County Health clueless about drive-thru shots

As a 76-year-old citizen of Nevada County, I was hoping to be vaccinated for COVID-19 relatively early in the process and was also hoping to receive the shot in the safest possible environment, at a local drive-thru vaccination clinic.

Even though several other Sacramento-area counties are providing COVID-19 vaccinations to seniors over 75, and most of those counties have drive-thru clinics to administer those shots, Nevada County seems to have totally dropped the ball.

I contacted the office of the director of the Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency using the email address provided on the MyNevadaCounty website (HHSA@co.nevada.ca.us), asking whether there would be drive-thru COVID19 vaccination clinics in Nevada County for those 75 and over.

This was the reply: “Nevada County is currently vaccinating medical providers. There is limited supply of the vaccine at this time. There are no scheduled vaccinations for your age group at this time.”

I have no idea whether this reply came from Ryan Gruver, director of health and human services, as there was nothing to indicate who had replied.

I replied to the email, pointing out that the subject of my question had not been answered and explaining that I’d seen several videos of drive-thru vaccination clinics in other Sacramento-area counties on the TV news.

The unknown Department of Health and Human Services person replied: “There may not be drive-thru vaccinations, as individuals must be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination for adverse reactions.”

This is obviously an ill-informed reply in that the drive-thru clinics shown on the TV news specifically included descriptions of how those vaccinated at these clinics were directed to move their vehicles to a designated area after receiving their shots and to wait there until the clinic personnel observing at that area indicated that they had been observed long enough and were cleared to leave.

I should also mention that prior to contacting the director of the agency, I sent email to Jill Blake, the public health director, at another address gleaned from the MyNevadaCounty website: Public.Health@co.nevada.ca.us. I sent email to this address twice to request information regarding drive-thru COVID-19 vaccinations and received no replies whatsoever.

Apparently, no one at the Nevada County Health and Human Services Department watches Sacramento-area TV news, as no one at the department is well enough informed to know that existing drive-thru vaccination clinics have policies and procedures in place to ensure those receiving vaccinations are observed by trained personnel for the required period of time.

And no one at the agency seems to put much emphasis on responding accurately to community members, if they respond at all.

I am appalled at the ignorance and lack of concern of the personnel at the department for vulnerable citizens of the county, especially those of us who have been identified as most likely to experience severe cases of COVID-19 and most likely to die from the disease.

It is also rather appalling that no one at the department seems willing to take a few minutes to do whatever research is necessary to adequately answer legitimate questions relating to the current public health emergency.

Considering the size of the senior population in Nevada County, this behavior is extremely disappointing.

Mike Brazil lives in Grass Valley.

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