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Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of the First COVID-19 Vaccination

Dec 16, 2021 | Katherine Waters

On December 14, 2021, NACCHO and partners celebrated the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine being administered outside of a clinical trial. This also marked the beginning of the national vaccination campaign. Since then, thanks to monumental efforts of countless public health and medical professionals, over 485 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to adults, adolescents, and children across the United States. In all, this represents 72% of the population having received at least one dose and 61% considered fully vaccinated. This date marks a significant milestone in the nation’s progress towards controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a noteworthy accomplishment, especially amid an ever-shifting landscape. It prompts us at NACCHO to reflect, recognize, and thank all those involved in the coordination, distribution, delivery, administration, education, outreach, and promotion of COVID-19 vaccines over the past year. To celebrate the tireless efforts to provide access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccinations, NACCHO is highlighting a couple of the numerous success stories from member vaccination efforts.

Manatee County, Florida

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Manatee County has been leading the way in COVID-19 response since the beginning of the pandemic. At every turn, the agency has been shifting priorities and following local data to ensure the most appropriate community response. From launching mass vaccination and testing sites in the early days of the pandemic, to now focusing on population specific outreach efforts, DOH-Manatee has continued to pivot at every turn as needed. Most recently with the announcement of the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer 5-11 Pediatric Vaccine, they sprang into action preparing for the rollout. DOH-Manatee began with initial community education events to talk to parents about the vaccine and address any questions or concerns parents had. They utilized their community partners to provide incentives and prepare goody bags in preparation for the vaccine launch. As DOH-Manatee approaches the holiday season and children are out of school, they are launching pediatric vaccine clinic days and providing a red-carpet experience to each child to celebrate every public health superhero. To eliminate barriers to access, they will be offering this service with no appointment necessary during the days when schools are not in session. Children will receive a goody bag with coupons, coloring pages, stickers, and a vaccine card holder, as well as have the opportunity to have a photo taken with the department’s Manatee Mascot.

Meeting the community where they are and eliminating barriers to access are critical components in working to ensure every family has access to tools to help continue the fight against COVID-19. Children who are vaccinated now will be able to start 2022 with the extra protection to enable them to get back to all their favorite things and most importantly get back to being a kid!

Washoe County, Nevada

December 14, 2020, was a special, yet challenging day, in Washoe County, Nevada. The Washoe County Health District in Reno, Nevada, was scheduled to receive its first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shipment the very next day. It was an important event for local media (English and Spanish) to share with readers/viewers. However, the Communications Manager who facilitates media strategies and access, had been exposed to COVID-19 and was quarantining while trying to organize and execute a very significant milestone. With just one communications professional on staff, leaning on regional partners in Washoe County and District support staff to make sure the event was successful became instrumental. Through that trust and collaboration, everything went according to plan. Vaccination of healthcare workers began, and the efforts received media coverage from every major news outlet in town.

Thank you to DOH-Manatee and Washoe County Health District for sharing their vaccine anniversary stories. Click here to share details of your COVID-19 vaccination and response efforts.

About Katherine Waters

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