District 5 Updates – Important COVID-19 Vaccination Information
Important COVID-19 Vaccination Information
February has been a sad month for the Westside. Over the last week, we have lost two outstanding citizens. On February 14th, we lost former District 5 Merced County Supervisor Jerry O’Banion. Jerry was a great mentor and advisor. He always took my calls and provided insight. He was a good friend and supporter. He left big shoes to fill, and I am working hard, every day, to make sure the opportunity to fill them is not wasted. Jerry’s services will be Saturday, February 20th at 1:00 p.m. at the Dos Palos Cemetery.
Just two days prior, on Friday, February 12th, the “Big Valley in Cali” lost one of our local heroes, friend and leader. Unexpectedly, Pastor Bruce Rivers passed away. I called on him to lead our County Board of Supervisors in prayer. I depended on him to tell me how things were going: the good, the bad and the ugly. Bruce had a heart bigger than our Valley, and a personality to match. Bruce’s services will be Saturday, February 20th at 12:30 p.m. at Mount Moriah Baptist Church. Social Distancing will be strictly enforced, and masks are required.
After learning of Bruce’s passing, and now Jerry’s, I am going to ask the Westside to pay it forward, however you want to do that. Whether you cover the coffee for the person behind you, let someone go first in line, or drop food off at our local pantry, do something kind and do it in their memory. They both served our community in different ways, always putting others before themselves. I can’t think of a better way to remember them than by taking care of each other. I am honored to have called both of these men friends. For Dollie O’Banion and Emily Rivers, their families and friends, Brooke and I send our heartfelt condolences.
As we began vaccinating our residents, it was clear that Merced County was being short-changed. Due to the State’s vaccine distribution formula, Merced County has received fewer vaccine doses than neighboring counties. For me that is totally unacceptable. I have been in contact with the Governor’s office and the State Department of Public Health. I am strongly advocating, and I am encouraging you to write, call, fill out an online form or fax the following contacts and let them know we need our equitable share.
Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
You can also complete a comment form here: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
Department of Public Health:
Dr. Tomas J. Aragon
PO Box 997377
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377:
You can also complete a comment form here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/contact_us.aspx
We have the mechanics in place to get the vaccines out, it is just a matter of securing enough to expand our operations.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Merced County has a website exclusively for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com. The site includes a “Vaccine Interest Survey” where users can answer a few short questions, determine their vaccination category (see image) and sign up to be notified when they are eligible to be vaccinated. Currently, in accordance with updated State guidelines, Merced County is still in Phase 1A of its distribution plan, including seniors 65 years and older are eligible.
Those currently eligible for the vaccine may be notified directly through their employers or care providers; however, eligibility will soon expand to include additional groups within our community. This tool will serve as a way for the County to communicate with and inform members of the public when they become eligible. the www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com vaccination website to register for further instructions and priority vaccination information. Those who are eligible to be vaccinated at an upcoming clinic, while supply is available, will receive a link to a State of California registration site.
Due to a limited vaccine supply, and to efficiently administer available doses, eligible individuals will be vaccinated by appointment. Register at www.vaccinatemercedcounty.com.
The “Vaccinate Merced County” website will be periodically updated as new information becomes available or as the State changes vaccination eligibility criteria. Individuals using the website to receive a vaccination are required to attest that they are submitting correct information, which will then be validated through documentation at the vaccination site. Additional details will be available on the website.
In addition to vaccinations, the website also includes a feature where community volunteers can sign up to assist with the vaccination efforts in a capacity that fits their abilities and schedules.
If I can be of service, or you need assistance, please call me at (209) 385-7366, or send me an email at Scott.Silveira@CountyofMerced.com.