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First health care workers vaccinated

Kaiser Permanente Northern California front-line care providers, including nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians, have been among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Pictured, at Kaiser Permanente San Leandro, nurse Magsy Celestino, RN, receives her vaccination from Tracee Miranda, LVN.

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, this week Kaiser Permanente Northern California began vaccinating its health care workers following the criteria set forth by national and state public health officials.

Although Kaiser Permanente expects the initial allocations to be very limited, it’s working to ensure an equitable distribution based on those health care workers in areas with highest risk for exposure. As supplies become more plentiful, the organization will vaccinate more health care workers, prioritized by their roles, patient-facing and employee-facing activities, and risk of exposure.

Front-line care providers, including Kaiser Permanente nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians, with the greatest risk of exposure will be among the first to be vaccinated. Also in the first groups to be vaccinated, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and State of California guidelines, are EMS workers and employees/residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the United States, the vaccine is one of the vital tools needed to control and eventually end this public health crisis that has caused so much loss, pain, and disruption around the world.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California is a vaccine provider in every market it operates in and will administer the initial supply of the vaccine it receives to the populations prioritized by state health departments and CDC guidance.

Even as the vaccine is beginning to be provided to people in Kaiser Permanente Northern California communities, it is still critical for everyone to keep using all available methods to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as the wearing of masks, appropriate physical distancing, and frequent handwashing.

The organization is committed to educating its members, workforce, customers, and communities about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and to promote understanding of how a vaccine — coupled with continued public health measures — can help control and ultimately bring about the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow the story on Twitter at @KPNorthernCal.

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