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Desert healthcare workers receive Moderna Vaccine

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Healthcare workers showed up to the Roy Wilson Training Center in Thousand Palms on Thursday to receive their first dose of the Moderna Vaccine. Many were given the opportunity after being classified in the county's Phase 1A grouping, which is the first group to receive the vaccines that arrived in Riverside County.

Among those listed were paramedics, EMTs, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and more.

The clinic was held just one day after another clinic was organized westward. On Wednesday, hundreds of Riverside County first responders received their first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in Riverside.

"Not bad at all. Got in, they asked me some screening questions. Once I got to the screening questions, went in and got my shot and signed my vaccine card," said Cathedral City Fire Dept. Engineer Paramedic, Alex Pike.

Dozens of people lined up as they awaited their turn to get the first dose of the vaccine.

"I was waiting in the front for a little bit, not too long. I got here a little bit early just in case, but it went pretty smooth," said Becky Quarry, an employee at a Murrieta cardiologist's office.

More than 400 people registered for Thursday's event.

"Right now these vaccination events, they’re open to all the qualified healthcare workers under Phase 1A under all tiers. So we’re talking paramedics, doctors, nurses, housekeepers at hospitals, people who work at dialysis centers..." said Riverside County spokesperson, Yaoska Machado.

The clinic opened at 9 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. After receiving the vaccine patients were required to wait at least 15 minutes outside in case they had an allergic reaction.

"Now this is the tricky part- we have entire families showing up and families who didn’t qualify exactly as healthcare workers," said Machado.

Machado said the clinics are solely prioritizing healthcare workers. If family members show up and are not part of the phase 1A group, they will likely be turned away.

"What we’re telling people is you have to make sure you qualify. Please visit that website: ruhealth.org. Once you show up for a vaccination, you have to show proof that you are a healthcare worker," said Machado.

Many people that spoke to News Channel 3 on Thursday said the vaccine was painless.

"I think the flu shot hurts more than this one," said hospice worker, Elsa Diaz.

County officials expect to organize more clinics in the coming weeks as they work to administer the vaccines they receive.

Vaccinations likely will not be available to the general public until the spring, according to Machado.

MORE: Are you a healthcare worker in vaccination Phase 1a? Here are the upcoming clinics in Coachella Valley

For more information visit: https://www.ruhealth.org/covid-19-vaccine

Stay up-to-date with the latest local coronavirus news, including reopenings and closing, new case data, live news conferences, and other updates at KESQ.com/Coronavirus or download the News Channel 3 app on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Coronavirus / Health / News Headlines / Top Stories

Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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