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Desert Valley Hospital and Victor Valley College partner to bring ‘more vaccines and more hope’ to the High Desert

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Desert Valley Hospital and Victor Valley College partner to bring ‘more vaccines and more hope’ to the High Desert

(Victorville, CA – April 9, 2021) Desert Valley Hospital and Victor Valley College have partnered to offer a centralized location in the High Desert to vaccinate a larger number of community members against COVID-19.

Beginning Tuesday, Desert Valley Medical Group employees and volunteers will coordinate the administration of about 400 doses of vaccine a day to local residents in the VVC Gymnasium.

Desert Valley Hospital is one of fifteen hospitals owned by Prime Healthcare participating in the California Vaccine Network, a statewide effort to expand free delivery of the vaccine, particularly to communities disproportionately impacted by the virus.

“Desert Valley Hospital is honored to participate in this important and noble effort to expand access of the vaccine to people in our community, many of whom are less fortunate and vulnerable,” said Fred Hunter, CEO of Desert Valley Hospital and Desert Valley Medical Group. “Victor Valley College is the ideal location to service a higher volume of our community.”

Managed by the state through Blue Shield of California, the vaccination network uses key known health-care providers — including hospitals, clinics and healthcare organizations — to accelerate and simplify the vaccination process. According to Desert Valley Hospital officials, the network maximizes overall distribution efficiency and equity, expanding delivery to vulnerable communities.

While the VVC campus remains closed to the public with plans announced to reopen May 10, college facilities have serviced community needs throughout the pandemic, from offering COVID-19 testing to hosting jury selection for the San Bernardino Superior Court. Hosting a vaccination site on campus was a natural expansion of the college’s efforts to respond to the ongoing public health crisis, VVC Superintendent/President Dr. Dan Walden said.

“Victor Valley College continues to welcome opportunities to help our community through these difficult times and we are grateful to partner with Desert Valley Hospital to bring more vaccines and more hope to the citizens of the High Desert,” Walden said.

Desert Valley Hospital is working with health officials to ensure vaccines are distributed equitably and fairly as more doses become available, hospital officials said. An important element of the program is educating people about the safety of the vaccine and answering any questions residents have to encourage broader participation.

“Throughout this pandemic, our selfless frontline caregivers and staff have lived our mission of saving lives and bringing compassionate, quality care to communities,” said Kavitha Bhatia, MD, MMM, FAAP, President of Prime Healthcare Foundation, Chief Medical Officer of Prime Healthcare. “Now, being able to offer vaccines to these same communities is life-changing and offers much-needed hope.”

Appointments are simple to schedule through the single vaccination portal called “My Turn,” through which residents may register and receive important information and updates. The system also makes it easier to schedule follow-up doses for those in need of a second shot.

While vaccines will be provided to all eligible residents, particular attention will be focused on communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, officials said. The state recently committed to allocating 40 percent of its vaccine supply to its lowest-income residents.

COVID-19 testing, which was taking place in VVC’s gym, will continue being offered on campus in portable building no. 66B, located behind the Construction Technology building on lower campus. Appointments for testing are required and can be made online at https://sbcovid19.com/testing-sites/.

The vaccination site at VVC will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Gymnasium on the college's lower campus, 71 Mojave Fish Hatchery Road. For the first week, supplies of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) one-dose vaccine will be provided on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Moderna vaccines will be provided on Thursday. For the following weeks please visit MyTurn.ca.gov to note the vaccine manufacturer that will be given when you make your appointment.

To make a vaccination appointment, visit myturn.ca.gov or call the CA COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-422-4255.

“The vaccine represents hope,” Hunter said. “The faster people receive the vaccine, the faster we will achieve herd immunity and end the pandemic once and for all.”