"It's really hard to see that whole pandemic and the whole situation," said Noushin Zojaji, a San Jose senior who stopped by the county fairgrounds Friday morning to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. "I was scared and really anxious, but after I got it, it was really good. No pain, and I hope the result is going to be good."
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Despite limited supplies, the county is administering more than 6,000 vaccines a day and has the ability to double that amount if it is able to secure more doses.
San Jose caregiver, Faith Miranda, also visited the fairgrounds for the vaccine, with the safety of her mother on her mind.
"I haven't seen her for a good six months," said Miranda. "She actually lives in a senior home and it's tough."
County officials are also partnering with community-based organizations and clinics to deliver information, testing, and vaccines into the hardest-hit communities, including East San Jose, where five zip codes account for more than 30% of the county's cases. This week, Gardner Health Services opened the first drop-in vaccination site for healthcare workers and those over the age of 65 at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.
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"Our system and our county as a whole, we stand strong with an infrastructure that is ready to further expand our capacity," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center's Associate Chief Medical Officer.
The county says although the road ahead will be challenging, it's important to note how our collective sacrifices have led to this moment and impacted the projector of the pandemic locally.
"We were the first county to really have a shelter-in-place stay-at-home order, most likely prevented a lot more deaths, and a lot more hospitalizations in this community," said Santa Clara County COVID-19 testing and vaccine officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib.
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As the pandemic rages on, healthcare workers across the county have encountered limited resources and been forced to alter the way they treat their patients. Despite this, they continue to stay focused on serving the public as best they can.
"Even if you've been one of the lucky folks who have been able to get two vaccines, that still doesn't make you completely immune and you still can pass it on to others, so I ask that people are still cognizant of that," said Dr. Andra Blomkalns, professor and chair of the emergency department at Stanford Hospital.
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