On Saturday, December 19, Chief Medical Officer of Northern Inyo Hospital, Dr. Stacy Brown, received the first of some 900+ COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the area on Thursday.  The rest of the medical and support staff in the hospital district are receiving their shots, scheduled in 10-minute intervals.

Some of the vaccines have been allocated to the hospitals in Lone Pine, Mammoth, and Toiyabe Health Care. Nursing home and care facilities are receiving vaccines through a state agreement with CVS Pharmacy.

“The vaccine is 95% effective,” said Dr. Brown. meaning one out of 20 will still be susceptible to the infection.  “[The arrival of a vaccine] is in no way, shape, or form is a replacement,” he said, referring to the continuing need for social distancing, staying at home, washing hands, and sanitizing.

Residents are cautioned that the vaccine’s for the general public will not be available until probably spring. Vaccines go first to health care workers, paramedics, home health care workers, police and firefighters, and those patients in high risk categories.