By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club, through their grab-and-go luncheons, coordinated with the County of San Bernardino to provide a COVID vaccination clinic for those 65 and up at Leisure Shores on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They were giving out the Pfizer vaccine as a first shot of two, with the returning clinic coming on March 11.
Penny Shubnell, past president of the Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club and coordinator of the senior luncheons, had been taking reservations for the shots since it was announced that they would be allowing those above age 65 in the county to receive them. Shubnell had more than 185 people signed up and the county brought their mobile medical unit up to give the injections. These professionals were part of an 800-person force that is working under the federal COVID vaccination program.
Members of the sheriff’s Citizens on Patrol were directing the traffic in the San Moritz parking lot for those going to the senior grab-and-go luncheon and those going to the shot clinic in the parking lot at Leisure Shores. Actually, the cones in the roadway made it clear where to drive for both events.
The county’s Department of Aging seemed well organized, even though this was their first rural clinic. They had called each person who had enrolled the evening before and scheduled a time slot for the inoculation, meaning no one had to stand for long in a line at Leisure Shores. They said arrive on time, but not more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
Many got their lunch at noon and then drove over to Leisure Shores and ate their lunch while waiting for their appointments. Others got their shots and then went to grab their lunch at the San Moritz Lodge at noon.
The nurses and healthcare workers were friendly and the seniors were excited about getting their vaccinations. Sheila Garth said, “Since they put it into the deltoid on my upper arm, it didn’t hurt at all.”
Tessa Dick said it was “just little pinch and they warn you about it, but not at all painful and the next day my arm was only a little sore. I appreciate the accommodation this shot clinic provided to us who do not drive and don’t often leave the mountains. To be able to get these shots, may be a life saver for many of us. I thank Penny for her tenaciousness to get this clinic up here for us.”
Those who received their shots were able to sign up for their second dose while there. “Having the appointment for the second dose is giving me confidence,” added Dick.
“I thought the whole operation went very smoothly with the various county departments working so well together,” Shubnell said. “So many of my seniors were served with no long wait times. We were the very first served up here in the mountains, which we are busting our buttons over. It was just a pleasure hosting this event allowing the Departments of Aging and Public Health and Guardian and others to come up and serve our senior population.”
On Monday, Feb. 22, the same team repeated the shot clinic at Rim High School for those seniors over 65 who were pre-registered through the Department of Aging and the school district.
The County’s Department of Aging and Adult Services is coordinating the scheduling and the locations of each of these senior clinics and working with local community senior groups in setting up appointments. For COVID-19 updates or to sign up for vaccine clinic notifications, visit www.sbcovid19.com. Residents may also call the COVID-19 helpline at (909) 387-3911 for general information or where to apply for clinics; it is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.